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Creamline Holds Off Nxled to Secure 8th Win and Move Closer to Semifinals

MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion Creamline overcame the tough challenge from the also-ran Nxled, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21, to remain unbeaten in eight games nearing a semifinal berth in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at Philsports Arena.

Trailing the Chameleons in the third set, 20-21, Michele Gumabao stopped the bleeding for the Cool Smashers before Tots Carlos nailed back-to-back kills, 23-21. Jema Galanza sealed their eighth win with two consecutive aces.

Galanza led the balanced attack of Creamline with 14 points including four aces as the team stayed on top of the pack. It can clinch the semifinal berth if Choco Mucho beats PLDT in their ongoing match on Thursday evening to book the first two tickets for both Rebisco teams.

“Even though we had a lot of lapses in today’s game, the team showed that we’re really solid because we remained patient and worked hard to come back in the first set. They really tested our team. We’re still thankful because this will help us in our remaining games,” said the former PVL MVP, who also had nine excellent sets and eight digs.

Creamline Cool Smashers’ Jema Galanza. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Creamline needed to erase a 21-23 deficit in the first set with the help of Nxled’s back-to-back errors to tie the frame. Galanza put her team at set point followed by Jho Maraguinot’s costly attack error.

Carlos only played two sets but she delivered 12 points. Gumabao also scored 12, while Alyssa Valdez had seven points, nine digs, and eight receptions in the first two sets.

“We’re inching closer to the semis. But I’m happy because we were able to make the necessary adjustments, amid the gallant stand of Nxled,” Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said in Filipino.

Nxled, already out of the semis race days before this game, dropped to a 3-6 record but it didn’t stop the Taka Minowa-coached team from pushing the defending champion to its limits.

Maraguinot led the team’s valiant effort with 14 points and 12 excellent receptions, while birthday girl Chiara Permentilla had eight points.