Creamline is now on the cusp of another semifinal return after defeating Nxled, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21, in the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at the Philsports Arena.
The Cool Smashers had to fend off a gritty Chameleons squad in the first and third sets to remain unbeaten after eight games in the tournament. Creamline can secure a spot in the semis, along with Choco Mucho, if the latter beats PLDT later in the day.
“Syempre masaya kasi lumalapit kami sa semis. Hindi ko alam kung yung eight wins… kasi medyo dikit-dikit,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses.
“Talagang syempre, medyo senior yung team namin. Kaya nila mag-adjust talaga. Naka-recover kami doon sa first set,” added the champion PVL head coach.
The Rebisco-backed squad had a slow start in the opener but managed to crawl back from a 16-21 deficit. Jema Galanza and Jeanette Panaga scored on consecutive blocks, leading a 5-0 run that tied the game at 21-all.
Chiara Permentilla scored through the block to stop the bleeding before Galanza committed an attack error, giving the Chameleons a two-point lead. However, that proved to be it for Nxled in the first set as consecutive errors from Permentilla and Kamille Cal sparked a 4-0 turnaround for Creamline, putting them ahead 1-0 in the game.
The Cool Smashers dominated the second frame before using a 5-0 finishing kick in the third to overcome a 20-21 advantage and finish off the game after 85 minutes.
“Yung adjustments sa situation kasi talagang lumalaban talaga yung Nxled so naka-adjust talaga yung players namin lalo na nung first set,” Meneses said.
Galanza top-scored for Creamline with 14 points on nine attacks, four service aces, and one ace, along with nine excellent receptions and eight excellent digs, while Michele Gumabao and Tots Carlos chipped in 12 points each.
On the other hand, Jho Maraguinot was the lone double-digit scorer for Nxled with 14 points, along with 12 excellent receptions. The Chameleons suffered their sixth loss of the tournament, slipping to 3-6 in the standings.
Creamline will face off against the red-hot Chery Tiggo on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the same venue, while Nxled will return on Saturday to take on Cignal at 2:00 p.m.