Even without ace hitter Alyssa Valdez, defending champion Creamline still emerged unscathed, slamming the Petro Gazz Angels in four sets, 25-21, 26-24, 19-25, 25-18, to cement the top seed in the 2019 PVL Open Conference Final Four, Sunday at the University of St. La Salle Gym in Bacolod City.
The Cool Smashers stretched their unbeaten run to 13 matches. In the process, they also sent the Angels spiraling down a two-game tailspin for a 9-4 card, while denying Petro Gazz the opportunity to secure a semis berth.
Valdez, who was wearing a boot cast on her right foot, did not see action in the match. Still, there was no shortage of power for Creamline as Jema Galanza shouldered the bulk of the scoring.
Galanza fired 25 points built on 21 attacks and a pair of kill blocks and aces. She also flaunted her hard-nosed defensive coverage, collecting 17 excellent receptions and 15 excellent digs to post a triple-double outing.
Michele Gumabao came in support in offense. The product of DLSU supplemented 16 markers anchored on 13 attacks, two service bombs, and a kill block, while lacing it with 13 excellent digs for a double-double performance.
On the other hand, Jovie Prado and Paneng Mercado topped the Angels with 14 and 12 markers, respectively. Prado hammered down 12 attacks coupled with two aces, alongside 12 excellent digs and seven excellent receptions. Mercado chipped in 11 attacks and a block to go along with 12 excellent digs in a losing cause.
The Cool Smashers will seek to keep their record unscathed when they face the PacificTown-Army Lady Troopers on Wednesday, October 16. On the same day, Petro Gazz will try to get back on track against the Air Force Lady Jet Spikers. Both matches will be played at the FilOil Flying V Centre.