Creamline nears finale

The Philippine Star
Creamline nears finale
Creamline’s Tots Carlos hammers one against F2 Logistics’ Kim Fajardo in their game last
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Creamline moved on the brink of a fifth consecutive Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino finals after fending off F2 Logistics, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15 in Game One of their semifinal faceoff at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig yesterday.

It was a blockbuster event played in front of 6,471 fans, and the Cool Smashers made sure not to disappoint.

“Syempre, happy kami kasi it’s (the) semifinals na eh. So, timing yung pagkapanalo namin,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses as the Rebisco-backed squad finally got one over the Cargo Movers after losing its past two match-ups.

“Pero hindi pa naman tapos yung laban. So, kailangan pa talaga mag-prepare. Pero happy kami naka-isa na kami sa F2,” he added after the match that lasted for two hours and 20 minutes.

In the first set, Creamline found itself trailing 23-24 but managed to tie the score after Kianna Dy committed a centerline fault.

However, a miscommunication between Ivy Lacsina and Dy had the Cool Smashers falling behind again. An off-the-block hit from Tots Carlos eventually gave her team a 1-0 lead.

Creamline hit harder in the second set, going on a 12-2 run, with Jeanette Panaga contributing five points, to turn a 4-6 deficit into a commanding 16-8 lead. They went on to win the set 25-18.

In the third, F2 Logistics broke a 19-all tie with Aby Maraño and Elaine Kasilag leading the way in a 3-0 run that gave them a 22-19 advantage. Ced Domingo and Michelle Gumabao scored back-to-back points for the Cool Smashers, but F2 Logistics won the set with Kim Fajardo winning a joust against Panaga and Kasilag blocking Jema Galanza to secure a 24-21 lead. Gumabao managed to save one set point, but Kasilag’s cross-court attack sealed the set for F2 Logistics and forced a fourth set.

The Cool Smashers went on a blistering 8-1 start in the fourth set and never looked back to take Game One.

Carlos had an outstanding performance, scoring 22 points on attacks, while also contributing 17 excellent digs and 15 excellent receptions, earning her a triple-double. Gumabao also played a key role, firing 20 points as the Cool Smashers moved closer to securing a spot in the finals.

“Mga leader din naman yung mga players namin so alam nila kung paano mag-compose sa laro. Naka-focus naman sila, tapos na yun (third set) so maganda naman yung pag-recover nila sa fourth set,” added Meneses.

Creamline’s Jema Galanza contributed 12 points and nine excellent receptions, while Jeanette Panaga added 11 markers.

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