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Creamline nails 1st win over F2, nears 5th straight All-Filipino finals

JR Isaga

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Creamline nails 1st win over F2, nears 5th straight All-Filipino finals

DYNAMIC DUO. Creamline stars Tots Carlos, Michele Gumabao, and Jia de Guzman react at the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference semifinals

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Two-time PVL MVP Tots Carlos and Michele Gumabao each score at least 20 points as Creamline breaks through over F2 to take the PVL semifinal opener

MANILA, Philippines – The Creamline Cool Smashers drew first blood in the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference semifinals after downing the F2 Cargo Movers for the first time ever in four sets, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, at the jam-packed PhilSports Arena on Saturday, March 18.

Two-time league MVP Tots Carlos erupted for a big triple-double in the breakthrough win with 22 points, 17 excellent digs, and 15 excellent receptions as the Cool Smashers moved to the cusp of their fifth straight All-Filipino finals dating back to 2017.

Michele Gumabao continued her stellar conference run with 20 points off 19 attacks and 1 block, while Kyla Atienza outmatched her F2 counterpart Dawn Macandili-Catindig with 22 excellent digs. Overall, the Cool Smashers completely wrecked the Cargo Movers in the attacking department, 69-38.

After a sweep-denying win by F2 in the third set off a small 6-3 finishing surge, Creamline exacted revenge in convincing fashion to start the fourth with an 8-1 start, capped by a Ced Domingo quick attack to force the first technical timeout.

The Cargo Movers then fell behind by 8 points, 6-14, after an Iris Tolenada overreach, before Gumabao and Carlos took turns pushing the Cool Smashers to the blowout fourth-set finish.

“Of course, we’re happy with the [first-ever] win, because it’s now the semifinals,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino. “Great timing with the win, but the battle is not done.”

“We still need to prepare, but we’re happy that we got that first win out of the way.”

Kianna Dy, after scoring 20-plus points in multiple games near the end of the elimination round, got checked to just 13 points on 10 attacks, 2 blocks and 1 ace. Elaine Kasilag added 11 points as Macandili-Catindig quickly returned from her wedding with a respectable 20 excellent dig-outing.

Creamline aims to shut down the F2 machine for good on Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena. –

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