|Tots Carlos produced another monster game as Creamline is a win away from the three-peat. PVL Media Bureau|
By Ricky Manliguis
MANILA, Philippines—Creamline overcame a rabid onslaught of Chery Tiggo before pulling a nail-biting 25-15, 25-21, 18-25, 19-25, 15-7 win and take Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference Finals Wednesday night at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Cool Smashers unleashed a brilliant fifth set display behind Alyssa Valdez and Tots Carlos to stall an uprising by the Crossover en route to moving a win away from claiming a third straight title.
This is also the fifth straight five-set affair won by the squad this conference.
Carlos and Valdez came away with 26 and 21 points, respectively, while combining for 43 of the team's 61 total attacks. Jema Galanza chipped in 17, while setter Jia Morado fired seven on four service aces and 41 excellent sets.
With Jaja and Dindin Santiago doing the damage, Chery Tiggo battled from a 0-2 set deficit to force a fifth set and looked poised for an upset.
But the Cool Smashers got its bearings back in the deciding set, racing to a 9-4 lead and never looked back. Valdez scored to make it 13-6, while Jia Morado’s ace moved the team to match point. Chery Tiggo got a point back, before Valdez fired another hit to the middle for the final count.
Jaja Santiago cashed in 25 markers on 22 kills while Dindin Manabat issued 19 for Chery Tiggo, which played its fifth successive game in as many days.
Game 2 is set on Thursday.