Creamline breaks through vs F2, nears PVL All-Filipino finals

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Creamline breaks through vs F2, nears PVL All-Filipino finals
Tots Carlos

MANILA, Philippines — The Creamline Cool Smashers finally scored a victory against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers when it mattered most as they drew first blood in their best-of-three semifinals series, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Saturday.

Creamline, who were 0-2 against the Cargo Movers heading into the game, rode the momentum of a close win in the opening set to dominate their rivals when it counted.

"Syempre, happy kami kasi it's [the] semifinals na eh. So, timing yung pagkapanalo namin. Pero hindi pa naman tapos yung laban. So, kailangan pa talaga magprepare. Pero happy kami naka-isa na kami sa F2." said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses.

Even with a hiccup in the third set where they were unable to get the sweep, Creamline quickly recovered with a hot start in Set 4 to set the tone.

In the fourth, Creamline zoomed to a 8-1 start to create distance early.

During the opener, F2 looked to get on the board first when a block by Elaine Kasilag on Michele Gumabao propelled them to set point, 24-23.

But a pivotal challenge by head coach Sherwin Meneses in the next rally on a center foot fault by Kianna Dy tied things up at 24-all.

Creamline then scored back-to-back points, punctuated by a Tots Carlos off the block hit to pull the rug from under the Cargo Movers.

In Set 2, Creamline used a 9-0 run midway through the set to create distance over the Cargo Movers, 13-6, with a Carlos kill through the block.

They led by as much as nine points, 19-10. While an 8-3 run by F2 got them within four, 18-22, after an Ivy Lacsina block on Celine Domingo, the Cool Smashers were able to regain their bearings in time.

With their backs against the wall, F2 recovered from a 13-15 deficit midway through the set with a 3-0 run late to take the 22-19 lead after a Kasilag down the line hit.

Kasilag also scored F2's last two points of the set as the Cargo Movers extended the match.

But Creamline's dominant start in Set 4 proved to be the backbreaker for the Cargo Movers as they were unable to break the distance.

The Cargo Movers, who won over Creamline in five sets during the elimination round, were playing without star hitter Myla Pablo due to nagging injuries. This is her second game out of commission for F2.

Meanwhile, the Cool Smashers have been missing Alyssa Valdez since the beginning of the conference due to a knee injury.

Stepping up in her place on offense were Carlos and Gumabao who chipped in 22 and 20 points, respectively.

Gumabao proved pivotal in closing out the fourth set with eight points in that canto alone.

Jema Galanza and Jeanette Panaga also breached double-digit scoring for the Cool Smashers with a combined 23 points.

Leading the Cargo Movers was Dy who finished 13 points in the losing effort.

Creamline will look to book their fifth straight finals appearance in the All-Filipino tournament, and their eighth overall, when Game Two rolls around on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.



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