PVL: Creamline, Galeries Tower find things to build on
Creamline and Galeries Tower had little to gain in the standings of the PVL All-Filipino Conference with their victories on Thursday.
The Cool Smashers had locked up a semifinals berth long before taking the court against Akari at PhilSports Arena while the Highrisers had been out of the running even further back.
But their victories meant something—for different timelines.
Creamline nailed its 10th straight victory and tightened its grip on the No. 1 spot after dropping Akari with a 26-28, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22 triumph that gave the undefeated squad a look at things it still needs to smoothen.
“We will continue our practice, that’s always our target—to improve more,” said Cool Smashers coach Sherwin Meneses after his team’s rare first-set hiccup.
Galeries, meanwhile, finally broke into the win column and its come-from-behind 18-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-18, 15-11 victory over fellow doormat Gerflor helped the Highrisers establish a foundation for their future.
“It takes time to build a competitive team. It’s not about the skills, it’s about the system, discipline, and teamwork. We will carry this next season,” Galeries coach Lerma Giron said.
Creamline and Gerflor both started the game on the wrong foot.
The Cool Smashers needed a 12-point run to tie the game in the first set and then still lost that one.
“In the first set, it’s too bad [we lost] because we fought back,” Meneses said.
“I reminded the [Cool Smashers] to not rush their scoring because [the Chargers are tall] and also to continue being patient on our coverage,” he added.
Once Creamline leveled the set count, though, the team’s vaunted system took over, proving too much for the young Chargers.
“I always tell them that we cannot control the situation [in] every point so we need to be ready for situations like that. We will go back on the court to improve the lapses,” Meneses said.
Tots Carlos finished with 23 points built around 22 attacks and a block for Creamline while Jema Galanza added 16. Jeanette Panaga chipped in 12 for the Cool Smashers, who had a 67-38 advantage on attacks despite the Chargers’ height advantage making things difficult for the defending champions.
The Highrisers, meanwhile, leaned on Giron’s quick thinking to overcome a two-set deficit.
“In crucial moments, my center is not on emotions, it’s logical: ‘What will we do next?’ That’s what’s on my mind,” Giron said. “I looked for the right people who were ready and whom I saw the spirit of wanting to win.”
Gerflor went on a strong start and looked like it was going to break a 14-game losing streak that dates back to the previous Invitational Conference, before the Highrisers staged a comeback victory.
“I looked for the right combination of people, that’s the big change that I did in the third set,” Giron said.