PVL: Creamline shuts down Cignal in straight sets
MANILA, Philippines — Creamline banked on the troika of Michele Gumabao, Tots Carlos, and Jema Galanza anew to cop its second straight win without Alyssa Valdez, dominating the underperforming Cignal, 25-16, 25-21, 25-15, in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
As the injured Valdez continues to recover and cheer her teammates from the bench, Gumabao sustained her fine play as a starter with a game-high 14 points, including two blocks, on top of eight digs.
Galanza, who was held to just six points in their straight-set win over Petro Gazz last Saturday, waxed hot in the second set and finished with 13 points and had seven excellent receptions to give the Cool Smashers an early 2-0 league lead.
Two-time MVP Carlos also finished with 13 points, while Ced Domingo added nine markers, including the game-clinching quick attack in the third set.
“Overall, we played well today. We were also lucky to get the break, especially in the middle of the second set when Cignal fought back. But our players were able to recover,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino.
“I told them [in the second set] to keep their focus on our game plan. Execute a good service reception. Of course, we have veteran players. They know how to recover,” he added.
The Cool Smashers led as many as eight in the second set after Galanza started to heat up but they lost steam, committing errors and misreceives that allowed the HD Spikers to cut down their lead to three after Gel Cayuna’s ace.
Galanza stopped the bleeding with an off-the-block hit to reach set point, 24-20, but her service was short. Gumabao ended the set with a kill to take the two-set lead and never looked back in the third with a commanding 12-point margin, 19-7 after Jia De Guzman’s ace.
Team captain De Guzman was also instrumental for Creamline with 25 excellent sets and two aces, while libero Kyla Atienza had 20 digs.
Creamline will face its sister team, Choco Mucho, on Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum with former national team assistant coach Meneses facing his friend and new Flying Titans coach Dante Alinsunurin.
Cignal dropped to 0-2 as Ces Molina was the lone bright spot for the HD Spikers with 12 points, all from attacks, as the Cool Smashers dominated the spiking department, 48-23.