PVL: Creamline completes sweep to claim Open Conference title
Parading an armada that nobody was able stop, Creamline completed a dominant conquest of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference championship Friday, aptly putting a meaning to all the hard-work and heartache that the franchise went through all these past months.
In a tournament that started behind closed doors, the Cool Smashers won all their eight matches to capture their first title as professionals and gained their place as one of the all-time best clubs in the country.
And in front of more than 7,000 fans at Ynares Center in Antipolo, Creamline downed PetroGazz, 25-18, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16 in Game 2 of their best-of-three final series.
Jia Morado-De Guzman shone as she deftly created incredible pathways for her heavy-hitting teammates like Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza and newly minted MVP Tots Carlos.
“It’s a luxury for me, I can go to everyone, may it be single-blocker, double-blocker or triple-blocker, I know they will deliver,” said De Guzman.
Valdez, the team’s heart and soul, scored 20 points including an ace that gave the Cool Smashers the championship point.
“I guess because we are all familiar with each other, and our mental toughness, that spelled the difference,” said Valdez. Unlike in their previous five championships tracking back to the Shakey’s V League, this time the charming team leader had enough help.
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Galanza put the focus away from Valdez and Carlos, throwing down 17 points in her best performance all conference. “It’s all worth it, all the sweat and tears in practice,” said Galanza.
For Carlos who finished with 16 points, it was a redemption for the franchise which suffered a meltdown last year after blowing a 1-0 lead in the finals against Chery Tiggo.
“That is my motivation all conference, I don’t want to lose that way again,” said Carlos who also ran away with the Best Opposite Spiker award.. “It was a lot of trust and support from my teammates and management.”
The win also gave Cignal the bronze medal on account of better quotient over Choco Mucho despite a 1-1 tie in their own series.
Creamline hit the ground running with a stunning display of its offensive might, burying PetroGazz, 20-10, in attacks mainly through the efforts of Galanza and Carlos.
But soon PetroGazz sent its hurting scorers Grethcel Soltones, Nicole Tiamzon and Myla Pablo to bring zing in the Angels’ game. Their presence helped buoyed the Angels as they improved on defense, had more attacks, 12-10, and committed fewer errors, 2-10.