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Creamline fends off F2 Logistics, nears 5th straight PVL All-Filipino finals stint

Jeanette Panaga hugs Tots Carlos as the latter scored for Creamline. PVL
By Stewart Tan

MANILA--Creamline fended off F2 Logistics in four sets, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, in Game 1 of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals on Saturday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Tots Carlos tallied 22 points, all on attacks, while also contributing 17 excellent digs and 15 excellent receptions, while Michele Gumabao added 20 points as the Cool Smashers took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

Jema Galanza contributed 12 points and nine excellent receptions, Jeanette Panaga added 11 markers, Jia De Guzman provided 26 excellent sets and Kyla Atienza collected 22 excellent digs as Creamline moved on the cusp of a fifth consecutive finals stint.

"Happy kami kasi it's [the] semifinals na eh. So, timing yung pagkapanalo namin vs F2," said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses. "Pero hindi pa naman tapos yung laban. So, kailangan pa talaga magprepare. Pero happy kami naka-isa na kami sa F2." 

In the first set, Creamline found itself trailing 23-24 but managed to tie the score with a deuce after Kianna Dy committed a centerline fault. However, a miscommunication between Ivy Lacsina and Dy allowed the Cool Smashers to fall behind again, and Tots Carlos eventually scored an off-the-block hit to give her team a 1-0 lead.

Creamline bounced back in the second set, going on a 12-2 run, with Panaga contributing five points, to turn a 4-6 deficit into a commanding 16-8 lead. They went on to win the set 25-18.

After failing to close out the Cargo Movers in the third set, the Cool Smashers went on a blistering 8-1 start in the fourth set and never looked back to take Game 1 in almost two hours.

"Mga leader din naman yung mga players namin so alam nila kung paano mag-compose sa laro. Naka-focus naman sila, tapos na yun [third set] so maganda naman yung pag-recover nila sa fourth set," added Meneses.

Dy led the scoring for the Cargo Movers with 13 points, followed by Elaine Kasilag and Lacsina with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

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