Tots Carlos shines as Creamline notches first semis triumph
ANTIPOLO CITY—Tots Carlos came into the match with a striking new hair color. Everything else about her was the same.
The former University of the Philippines star, with her cotton candy pink top, delivered 21 kills off 46 attempts and finished with 24 points as Creamline virtually doomed Army Black Mamba’s hopes for a championship appearance with a 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17 victory on Thursday in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference semifinal round at Ynares Center here.
Carlos also had 19 digs as Creamline notched its first win in the race to one of the two top records that will qualify for the one-game Final.
Army dropped to 0-2, a hole that might prove to be too difficult to climb out of especially with a pair of dark horse foreign clubs flying in to join the hunt for championship berths.
With Jia de Guzman effectively spreading out her 28 excellent sets, the Cool Smashers drew huge games from the likes of Alyssa Valdez and Jema Galanza, who combined for 30 points to help Creamline offset its 30 errors during the match.
Valdez chipped in 18 points, while Galanza had 12 points, 14 digs and eight excellent receptions. Middle blocker Jeanette Panaga was also instrumental with 10 points, providing three of the team’s eight blocks.
“Our team recovered after dropping a set. Army is really a strong team and would not go down without a fight,” said Cool Smashers head coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino. “We just needed to recover from the situation. Good thing everyone contributed.”
Army erased a 19-22 deficit in the second set as Jovelyn Gonzaga tied it before Joanne Bunag put them ahead, 23-22. Carlos tied the set anew with an offset. Gonzaga pushed her team to set point, 24-23, followed by Audrey Paran’s ace to level the match at one set apiece.
But the troika of Carlos, Valdez and Galanza waxed hot to take full control of the last two sets.
Gonzaga led Army with 13 points, 18 digs and 18 excellent receptions. Royse Tubino chimed in with 11 points. Jeanette Villareal nailed five of the team’s six blocks to finish with 10 markers, while Bunag also scored 10.