Title-favorites Creamline, BanKo in impressive debuts
Fancied Creamline and BanKo Perlas shook off the rust of a two-month layoff on Sunday night as they brought down different foes at the start of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at FilOil Flying V Centre.
BanKo needed a big jolt in the second set to get fired up, blasting Reinforced Conference champion PetroGazz, 25-20, 11-25, 25-21, 25-18, and sending a message to the field that it will be a force to be reckoned with here.
“Coming from the loss in the second set, we just told ourselves that we play happy and light-hearted, and fortunately we clicked in the next two sets,” said BanKo Perlas captain Dzi Gervacio.
She finished with 13 points, including the finishing hit, while teammate Nicole Tiamzon fired two aces in succession down the stretch to wind up with 12.
Earlier, Creamline put a faulty opening set behind to rout Philippine Air Force, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15.
Creamline spiker Michelle Gumabao led the squad with 14 points, while Alyssa Valdez added 13 to jump-start their team’s title-retention bid.
“We had a slow start; it was not our usual pace but we managed to focus on our game and not on our opponents’ game,” said Gumabao. “We were able to defend better and find solutions to our errors.”
Valdez said they’ll take the win despite their opening set struggle. It was their first opening day win in three conferences.
“We are really happy. But we still look forward to correcting our mistakes,” said Valdez. “Honestly, we are still feeling heavy but I’m confident we’ll get to 100 percent in the coming games.”
Risa Sato helped with 11 points for the Cool Smashers, had 48 points coming off attacks compared to the Lady Jet Spikers’ 38.
“But this is just the start, we hope for better games,” said Gumabao. “We’re here to defend the title.”
Creamline setter Jia Morado also bested her counterpart, veteran Wendy Semana, tossing 25 excellent sets compared to Semana’s 11.
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