CREAMLINE withstood a gritty stand by PetroGazz, 25-14, 25-22, 27-25, and moved a win away from the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference title at The Arena on Wednesday night.
The Cool Smashers won the first two sets in a breeze behind Alyssa Valdez but got a fight in their hands in the third set when PetroGazz pulled ahead, 22-20, and reached set point first at 24-23.
Creamline, however, regained the upperhand, 25-24,on an off-the-block point by Jema Galanza. Cai Baloaloa tied the contest, 25-25, but her untimely service error gave the Cool Smashers match point which Galanza coverted with a down-the-line attack.
The Cool Smashers can wrap up the title in Game Two of the best-of-three series on Saturday.
“This is the finals, we expect nothing but an all-out game from both teams. Petro Gazz really showed it from the get-go,” said Valdez.
“Napakalakas lang talaga ng Jema Galanza, [and] everyone really contributed with their roles so hopefully maging consistent lang,” she added.
Valdez led the way with 19 points for the Cool Smashers while Jema Galanza added 15 and Michele Gumabao chipped in 10.
Valdez noted that their head coach, Tai Bundit, trained them for tough situations, so pressure is no longer big of a deal for the Cool Smashers.
“Coach Tai really prepares us for times na talagang dikit, his hard training works talaga towards the end, na talagang ipu-push mo pa rin ‘yung sarili mo kahit lamang na ‘yung kalaban,” said Valdez.
“Kasi pag latter part of every game, for me it's really mental, you need to think that you can do it, so the job is halfway done,” she added.
Jonah Sabete and Jovielyn Prado combined for 23 points for PetroGazz.