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PVL: Creamline completes sweep of Open, claims first pro title


ANTIPOLO – Jema Galanza took some of the spotlight from Tots Carlos’ crowning night, keying a decisive Creamline run in the fourth set, hacking out a 25-18, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Petro Gazz to cop the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference crown, Friday at Ynares Center here.

Galanza slammed three key points in varying fashions, helping Creamline break away from a tight 10-9 game and into a 17-11 lead then Alyssa Valdez did what she does best, closing out their rivals with kills and an ace before Jia de Guzman and Celine Domingo capped the championship with a combination play.

As De Guzman fell on the floor and the Cool Smashers whooped it up before a raucous crowd of over 7,000, confetti rained down the court, marking the return of the Cool Smashers to the volley throne at the very venue where they left with heads bowed after falling to the Angels in the 2019 Reinforced Conference finals.

“It’s worth all the sacrifices after we came up short the first time out,” said Galanza, referring to their setback to the Chery Tiggo in the league’s pro inaugurals in Ilocos Norte last August where they won the series opener but dropped the next two.

Galanza finished with 17 points, all on attacks.

“It’s all mental toughness and the strategies that we made,” said Valdez, whose own three-point binge late in the frame put the team at match point.

Valdez went on to bag the Finals MVP honors, her first in the PVL era, following a top-scoring 20-point with 11 digs.

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Conference MVP Tots Carlos added 16 points while Celine Domingo chipped 12 points on five blocks.

Jia De Guzman glued things together with 35 excellent sets.

The one-hour, 41-minute victory thus completed the crowd favorites’ eight-game sweep of the tournament, including a three-game romp in the group prelims, a lopsided win over PLDT in the quarters, and a two-game domination of sister team Choco Mucho in the Final Four.

The title sweep likewise made up for the team’s failed bid to become the first winner of the league’s pro tournament last year.

The championship was Creamline’s fourth in six straight finals appearances, including three in the league’s centerpiece event.

Nicole Tiamzon got 14 points while Myla Pablo and MJ Phillips added 13 points apiece.

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