PVL: Jia De Guzman, Creamline want no letup in winner-take-all Game 3
MANILA, Philippines—With their backs against the wall, the Creamline Cool Smashers made sure not to commit the same mistakes in Game 2 as they kept their title defense alive in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
Jia De Guzman orchestrated the offense that led to the Cool Smashers’ balanced attack in an 18-25, 25-16, 25-18, 23-25, 15-6 victory over the Petro Gazz Angels on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Everything that we showed today those were the things we lacked in Game 1. Communication, support, and execution were the biggest factors also for me today. Because there were things in training that we failed to pull off in the game. And it showed today,” said the Creamline skipper in Filipino after dishing out 30 excellent sets.
“But we can do better execution and communication in Game 3.”
Creamline bounced back from a 22-25, 26-24, 23-25, 24-26 loss to Petro Gazz in Game 1 on Sunday.
The Cool Smashers displayed the heart of a champion even the Angels forced a deciding fifth set as they unleashed eight straight points for a 10-2 start before Ced Domingo put on the finishing touches to force a do-or-die Game 3 on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Behind De Guzman’s steady playmaking, Creamline’s trio of Tots Carlos, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza were at their attacking best. Gumabao fired a game-high 21 points while Carlos and Galanza added 20 and 17, respectively.
“Going into the fifth set, you can see in the eyes of my teammates, coaches, and even the supporters that we will fight whatever happens,” De Guzman said in Filipino.
“Because in training we’re not hesitant and we help each other,” she added. “We need to apply all the training we had for years because that will bring out the character of the team. And at the end of the game, it paid off.”
The seven-time PVL Best Setter reminded her teammates to avoid complacency and leave everything on the floor as they try to capture their second straight All-Filipino crown and the sixth overall title.
“We want to think that it’s [momentum] on our side, but the ball is round. Petro Gazz is not a team that you can play relax. As you can see earlier, we were like points away from winning the game but they stood their ground,” said De Guzman. “So we’re expecting the same for Game 3. That’s what we’re going to prepare for in training tomorrow. And our best today has to be even better come in Game 3.”