With 2 MVPs and a third gun, Creamline bags crown
In the end, it was a big night for Creamline, which went home with the trophies that eluded the franchise last year.
The Cool Smashers closed out the Petro Gazz Angels with a 25-18, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16 victory Friday night in Game 2 of their best-of-three finals series for the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference championship at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The trophy erased the sting of a meltdown in last year’s title series and came with a few shiny trimmings: Creamline cannons Tots Carlos and Alyssa Valdez were named league Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Finals MVP, respectively.“I guess because we are all familiar with each other, and our mental toughness, that spelled the difference,” said Valdez, whose team blew a series lead in last year’s championship tussle and lost to Chery Tiggo.
“That [loss] was my motivation all conference; I didn’t want to lose that way again,” added Carlos, who also ran away with the Best Opposite Spiker award. “It was a lot of trust and support from my teammates and management.”
Creamline’s victory also gave Cignal the bronze medal on account of a better quotient over Choco Mucho. Both teams were squared at one game each in the battle for third place. There is no playoff for the bronze medal—only a quotient tiebreaker—once the championship is finished.
The Cool Smashers used their scoring depth to claim this title, with setter Jia de Guzman admitting she was spoiled for choices whenever she was pulling strings on offense.
“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,” De Guzman said.
Valdez, who pushed Creamline to match points, led the team with 20 points while Carlos added 16.
Already having two of the best individual performers to set shots up for in Carlos and Valdez, De Guzman created scoring pathways for a third gun, Jema Galanza, who punched in 17 points and keyed the decisive run in the fourth set to help the Cool Smashers pull away.
“It’s all worth it, all the sweat and tears in practice,” said Galanza.
In front of more than 7,000 fans, Creamline hit the ground running with a stunning display of its offensive might, burying Petro Gazz, 20-10, in attacks.
The Angels gallantly fought back behind injured stars Grethcel Soltones, Nicole Tiamzon and Myla Pablo, but were eventually overwhelmed by Creamline’s firepower.