Creamline, Petro Gazz a win away from Finals showdown
MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten Creamline shrugged off a slow start to draw first blood over Motolite, 18-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-14, in the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Saturday, October 26 at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Power Builders put up a show in the opening set, but the Cool Smashers quickly turned things around as Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado returned to action after a Japan training stint with the national team.
Valdez led with 20 points and added 16 excellent digs while Michelle Gumabao and Jema Galanza chipped in 16 and 13 markers, respectively.
Pau Soriano and Celine Domingo looked solid in front and scored 11 points apiece while libero Kyla Atienza covered the floor well with 36 excellent digs and 20 receptions.
The Power Builders caught the unbeaten Cool Smashers off guard in the opening frame as they utilized their frontline and floor defense that led to a commanding 10-point lead, 20-10.
But the tides turned completely in 2nd set after Fille Cainglet-Cayetano's ace capped a 7-1 Creamline rally, leading to a 10-point advantage.
The Cool Smashers continued to wreak havoc in the 3rd frame and grabbed a 17-12 lead before the Power Builders fought back with 6 straight points to move up by one, 18-17.
But Valdez and Creamline’s net defense held off Myla Pablo's onslaught late in the set and closed the third with 4-0 blitz to avert a total collapse.
Creamline took full control and cracked Motolite in the final set as another ace from Cayetano gave them a 19-9 lead and Valdez later hammered down a kill to end the first match of the semis.
Isa Molde topscored for Motolite with 15 points as Tots Carlos posted an all-around performance with 13 points, 19 digs and 19 receptions.
Petro Gazz makes quick work of BanKo
The Petro Gazz Angels also moved a game closer to the finals after demolishing the BanKo Perlas Spikers, 25-22, 25-15, 25-20, in Game 1 of their own best-of-three semifinal series.
Chie Saet directed the Angels’ balanced offense with 18 excellent sets while Jonah Sabete and Jovelyn Prado led the scoring with 12 and 10 markers, respectively.
Blockers Jeannete Panaga and Cherry Nunag tallied 8 points each as Cienne Cruz provided the floor defense with 20 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions.
Both squads battled it out in the opening frame but Petro Gazz managed to erase a six-point deficit and banked on Panaga, who scored 3 of the last 5 points of the No.2 squad.
The 2nd set turned a bit different as the Angels easily dictated the pace and held a 10-point lead, 21-11 after Sabete's kill.
The Perlas Spikers tried to spark a comeback in 3rd set, but Petro Gazz built enough separation as Prado and Panaga delivered the last points to grab Game 1.
Dzi Gervacio scored 14 points while former Lady Maroons Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon added 10 and 9 markers apiece for BanKo.
Petro Gazz and Creamline will try to arrange a Finals duel as they go for a semifinal sweep in Game 2 on Sunday, October 27 starting at 2 pm. – Rappler.com