MANILA, Philippines – The Creamline Cool Smashers started their title defense bid strong as they outlasted the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers in straight sets, 25-23, 25-20, 25-15, in the opening day of the 2018 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Sunday, August 11 at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The first two sets came close, but the balanced attack of the defending champions, anchored on Jia Morado’s 23 excellent sets, was too much for the returning Lady Jet Spikers.
Michele Gumabao was on fire all throughout the game to finish with 14 points as Alyssa Valdez and Risa Sato added 13 and 11, respectively, for the Cool Smashers, who came from a runner-up finish last conference.
Air Force stalwart Dell Palomata sparked her squad’s offense in the opening set, but Jema Galanza and Gumabao’s early dominance kept the momentum on the side of the Cool Smashers.
Creamline started to pull away in the final set as Valdez came alive and fired back-to-back aces in the 3rd frame that gave the Cool Smashers an 18-9 advantage.
Palomata had 14 points while May Ann Pantino added 10 markers and 11 excellent receptions in a losing effort for the Lady Jet Spikers.
Meanwhile, BanKo Perlas Spikers also got off to a good start as they downed the Reinforced Conference champions PetroGazz Angels in 4 sets, 25-20, 11-25, 25-21, 25-18.
Despite droppping the 2nd set in a surprisingly lopsided fashion, the Perlas Spikers bounced back by capitalizing on the whopping 30 errors of the Angels that halted their offensive runs in the 3rd and 4th sets.
Dzi Gervacio chipped in 14 points and 17 excellent digs while Nicole Tiamzon had her moments in the final frame and added 12 points for BanKo Perlas.
The opening set went back-and-forth, but BanKo sparked a late 7-1 run capped by Ella de Jesus' ace to snatch the set point over last conference's champion.
Tiamzon’s back-to-back aces and Gervacio’s kill in the 4th set sealed the first victory for the Perlas Spikers, who missed the podium last PVL conference.
Jeannette Panaga tallied 10 points while Jovielyn Prado’s impressive 13 points, 13 digs and 10 receptions was put on waste for PetroGazz. – Rappler.com