Premier Volleyball League

‘Magic bunot’: Deep Creamline bench spells difference in finals clash with Choco Mucho

JR Isaga

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‘Magic bunot’: Deep Creamline bench spells difference in finals clash with Choco Mucho

EVEREADY. (L-R) Creamline's Michele Gumabao, Bernadeth Pons, and Bea de Leon in action in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference finals

PVL Images

Ever ready to answer the call of duty, Creamline's bench core of Bernadeth Pons, Michele Gumabao, and Bea de Leon all deliver and outhustle top-heavy Choco Mucho in the PVL finals Game 1

MANILA, Philippines – Time and again, Creamline has proved it can get itself out of any sticky situation in the PVL and come out shining on the other side.

The circumstances were no different on Thursday, May 9, as the Cool Smashers bucked a tight first set loss, repeatedly staged comebacks in the second to fourth frames, and earned their way to a 24-26, 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 win over much-improved sister team Choco Mucho.

Already boasting a formidable starting six with a collection of seven combined MVP awards, Creamline also deployed its bench to great effect, as the likes of Bea de Leon (11 points, 5 blocks), Bernadeth Pons (8 points), and Michele Gumabao (7 points) injected timely energy against the Flying Titans.

“We just have that collective mindset and coach [Sherwin Meneses] readied us mentally that everyone, not only those inside the court, has to be ready anytime,” Pons said in Filipino. “So we made it a point that every time we enter the court, we have to help one another and contribute.”

“When we were inserted to the game earlier, we just said to keep working, give energy, trust one another, trust God, and trust coach in his decisions,” Gumabao added. “We just enjoyed our time in the court. Creamline’s good vibes mentality, we just sustained that all throughout the game.”

Sure enough, the Cool Smashers’ aura was light from buzzer to buzzer, despite not only losing the opening frame right at the very end, but also going down by as many as 7 points in the second and third, and by as many as 4 in the fourth.

Like clockwork, as soon as the going got tough, in came the bench mob to change the narrative, and Creamline reaped the benefits in the end.

Even Choco Mucho head coach Dante Alinsunurin could only tip his hat in the end, admitting that the Cool Smashers simply better utilized the players they had.

“Even before, Creamline always had the deeper set of personnel,” he said in Filipino. “Every time one of them makes mistakes, they can get someone else from the bench.”

“Those are the kinds of situations that Creamline maximizes in its championship runs because its bench is always so deep.”

Choco Mucho will have two days of training to figure out how to match Creamline’s combined firepower as the finals Game 2 beckons on Sunday, May 12, 6 pm, still at the Araneta Coliseum. –

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