Creamline has the most potent offensive arsenal in the 2019 PVL Open Conference. So if there’s one thing that opponents should never do against the Cool Smashers, it’s to give them leverage right after the opening whistle.
Unfortunately, Petro Gazz committed that exact mistake in one of the biggest matches in the conference.
During Game One of the championship series, the Angels couldn’t find their groove early on. Instead, they let the flood gates open for the Cool Smashers in the opening salvo.
“As much as possible, hindi nating pwedeng makita ‘yung Creamline na as early as first set, biglang nakita kaagad natin ‘yung kumpiyansa kaagad nila e. Talagang mahihirapan kami ‘pag gan’un,” Petro Gazz head coach Arnold Laniog said.
“So sabi ko, ‘yung Creamline, ang importante sa amin ay either sabayan sila o higatan pa talaga kung anong meron sila.”
The Angels were then quick to regain their bearings in the succeeding frames. However, the prolific scoring duo of Creamline in Alyssa Valdez and Jema Galanza simply proved too much down the stretch of each sets.
When the dust settled, Petro Gazz had surrendered a straight-set decision to the Cool Smashers on Wednesday evening. And Laniog could only admit that Creamline wanted it more than the Angels this time around.
“Sabi ko nga, as expected, gan’un ang level ng Creamline but hindi kami nakasabay. Talagang na-kontrol nila kami sa attack talaga. Especially ‘yung dalawang wings nila in Valdez and Galanza, talagang nag-step up talaga,” Laniog disclosed.
“Talagang credit talaga sa Creamline, talagang gusto nila kanina.”
The Petro Gazz mentor acknowledged that his wards outperformed the Cool Smashers in the service department, mounting a slim 5-3 differential. But those efforts were easily neutralized by the dominance of Creamline in attacks, 51-32.
“Paulit-ulit nga kami sa team namin na Creamline is known as an offensive team, so malakas sila mag-serve; pagdating sa attacks, ‘yung wings nila matitibay. For us, nasabayan namin ‘yung skill nila pagdating sa serve but ‘yung mga attackers namin, gaano ba nila kagusto? Gaano ba ‘yung killer instinct nila kapag binigay sa kanila ‘yung bola, talagang papatay at papatay talaga,” Laniog shared.
Laniog then delivered a daunting yet possible task for the rest of the Angels heading into their do-or-die match-up on Saturday.
“‘Yun nga, ang challenge ko ay mga attackers natin, ‘yung level nung dalawa [Galanza and Valdez] na kayang i-deliver, kailangan tayo, ‘yung lima namin dapat mapunuan,” said Laniog, as the quarter of Jonah Sabete, Jovie Prado, Jeneatte Panaga, Kai Baloaloa and Cherry Nunag barely outscored Creamline’s main hitters in total, 36-34. “Yun naman ang key namin e. Kailangan mag step up ‘yung mga attackers talaga, especially ‘yung mga wing.”
He then continued, “Talagang sa laban na ‘to, llamado talaga ang Creamline. But for us, kailangan maging masipag at matiyaga lang tayo na kahit ‘yung kalaban natin ay pumupukpok ng pumupukpok, magtatrabaho lang tayo until the end.”
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