Creamline Dominates over Choco Mucho in PVL Finals Opener
MANILA, Philippines — Creamline flaunted its championship experience to beat first-time finalist and sister team Choco Mucho in Game 1, 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 25-22, and move on the cusp of its third straight Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference title on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Flying Titans didn’t play like they were finals debutants, pushing the defending champions to their limits in every set. But the championship poise and composure of the Cool Smashers prevailed as they asserted their mastery of the sister team, remaining unbeaten in 10 games in their sibling duel.
Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza powered the Cool Smashers with 16 points each — all coming from attacks — with the latter also defending the floor with 13 digs and eight excellent receptions to outlast the Flying Titans in the two-hour Game 1.
“Siyempre masaya kami na yun nga, we’re really happy for the fans and specially for our bosses na talagang sinusuportahan ‘tong dalawang teams na ‘to. So yun, honestly masaya lang kami na nanalo kami and yun nga marami pa kaming kailanga trabahuhin. Back to training kami bukas,” said Carlos.
Jeanette Panaga stepped up for Creamline, which is nearing its seventh overall championship and fifth All-Filipino, with 13 points including four blocks. Alyssa Valdez and Michele Gumabao had 11 points each, while Kyle Negrito had 22 excellent sets on top of four points.
“Yung game ngayon, team effort talaga so happy ako kasi lahat ng situation na nangyari ngayon, is nagawan namin ng paraan,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses. “Talagang Choco Mucho, hindi rin talaga magpapatalo yan. Kita niyo naman, sa haba ng conference, sila yung nakapasok, talagang mainit talaga sila sa ngayong conference so di talaga kami pwede magpabaya pero di pa tapos, may Game 2 pa so trabaho ulit kami bukas.”
Valdez, who had 11 digs and eight receptions, delivered the clutch hits in the third set, where they fought back from a 12-17 deficit as she scored four straight points to put Creamline at set point, 24-23, before Deanna Wong blocked Galanza’s hit to force a deuce.
Risa Sato blocked Sisi Rondina’s attack to regain the set point advantage, followed by Galanza’s off-the-block hit off Wong’s block attempt to take a 2-1 lead.
Bernadeth Pons and Gumabao delivered the finishing blows in the fourth set to clinch the win. The Cool Smashers try to go for a sweep in Game 2 on Saturday.
Maddie Madayag led the way for Choco Mucho with 18 points highlighted by seven blocks. Rondina delivered 17 points and 19 receptions, playing through the pain in her knee after a collision with libero Thang Ponce early in the third, while Kat Tolentino had 16 points.