|Tots Carlos came alive in time for the Cool Smashers. PVL Media Bureau|
MANILA—Creamline weathered the storm put up by Petro Gazz to hack out a nail-biting 27-29, 25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 16-14 victory and take Game 1 of their Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference semifinal series Sunday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
Banking on Tots Carlos in the pivotal fifth set, the Cool Smashers thus put themselves a win away from making into the finals against a tough Angels squad that held several one-set advantages throughout the game.
Carlos finished with 23 points spiked on 22 attacks and one service ace as the former UP Lady Maroons teamed up with Jema Galanza in the fifth set en route to victory.
In a 13-all deadlock at the latter parts of the deciding set, Carlos unloaded back-to-back hits to pull Creamline into set point, 15-14, before Galanza put the game away with a kill of her own.
The Rebisco-backed squad even had the chance to take a headstart in the first set, leading 23-20, but Petro Gazz stole that one thanks to Myla Pablo and Ria Meneses.
After Creamline tied the game at a set apiece, Pablo took charge in the third for the Angels, pouncing every blocker heading her way for a 2-1 set lead, only for Carlos and Galanza to spoil the celebrations and force the decider.
Alyssa Valdez was in her usual scoring self with 25 markers on 22 hits, while Galanza finished with 16 and Michelle Gumabao 13 for Creamline. Jia Morado pumped in 37 of the team’s 39 excellent sets.
Pablo led the Petro Gazz charge with 26 markers on 25 hits, Ces Molina added 17 on 12 hits, while Grethcel Soltones and Remy Palma each chipped in 10.
Despite committing 35 errors, Creamline lorded over in attacks (79-59) and service aces (5-3), while its 101 excellent digs proved vital in the two-hour, 26-minute match.
Carlos finished with 23 points spiked on 22 attacks and one service ace as the former UP Lady Maroons wreak havoc in the fifth set
Game 2 is set on Monday at 5 p.m. at the same venue.
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