BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — In the rematch of the 2019 finals, Tots Carlos provided the spark as Creamline overcame a rusty start to win at the expense of the new-look Petro Gazz, 24-26, 28-26, 25-22, 25-20.
After trailing by as much as seven points early in the fourth set, Creamline managed to take the lead all thanks to a 4-0 spurt led by Tots Carlos, 18-16.
Remy Palma, Mean Mendrez, and Ces Molina kept Petro Gazz to within striking distance, but Carlos, along with a couple of errors from the Angels’ side, sealed the 25-20 win for the Cool Smashers.
The win helped Creamline tie Chery Tiggo at the top spot with identical 2-0 standings.
“Siyempre, Petro Gazz ready din sila, [yung] recruitment nila maganda sana next time [mas] maganda [yung] laruin namin,” said Creamline assistant coach Sherwin Meneses, who was celebrating his birthday as well.
Alyssa Valdez completed a triple-double with 16 points, 21 excellent digs, and 18 excellent receptions.
The Cool Smashers also received help from former Petro Gazz middle blocker Panaga with 15 points off of six blocks and Tots Carlos, who chipped in seven markers off the bench.
Julia Morado steered the offense with 35 excellent sets laced with three markers while Kyla Atienza manned the Taraflex with 30 excellent digs.
Petro Gazz capitalized on an error-plagued Creamline in the opening set, taking a 26-24 for a 1-0 advantage.
The Cool Smashers found themselves in the same seesaw affair come the second set, only this time, though, Alyssa Valdez managed to push her team towards the end to even the set at 1-1 through a 28-26 set win.
Creamline, after an 8-3 start in the third set, zoomed to a 16-10 advantage into the second technical timeout. The lead, however, did not last long as Petro Gazz went on a 7-0 streak to retake the lead.
Fortunately for the Cool Smashers, Carlos provided the spark that they needed to take a 25-22 win for a 2-1 lead.
Molina led the Angels in scoring with 18 points while the 1-2 punch of Palma and Ria Meneses delivered 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Myla Pablo and Grethcel Soltones were held to just six apiece.
The loss kept Petro Gazz (1-1) at the third spot tied with Sta. Lucia (1-1).
Creamline will next go up against Black Mamba-Army on Thursday at 3:00 PM while Petro Gazz will face Cignal on Friday at 6:00 PM.