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PVL: Creamline spoils Almadro’s Petro Gazz debut to open title defense


Creamline opened its title-retention campaign with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 win over rival Petro Gazz in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference, Saturday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Playing without team captain Alyssa Valdez, who is still recovering from a right knee injury, Jia De Guzman spread the offense and tossed 27 excellent sets. She produced four double-digit scorers in the Cool Smashers’ rousing debut win, which spoiled the debut of new Angels head coach Oliver Almadro.

Michelle Gumabao and Ced Domingo carried the scoring cudgels with 13 points apiece while Tots Carlos put on an all-around showing of 11 points, 15 excellent receptions, and nine excellent digs.

Jeanette Panaga had 10 points while Jema Galanza was limited to just six markers.

“Yung sistema naman isa lang ginagawa e. Kung anong posisyon mo, parehas lang naman ginagawa sa bench so hindi naman mahirap mag-adjust pero syempre iba pa rin kapag nandiyan si Ly [Valdez],” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses.

“Yung leadership naman napagtutulungan nila MG, Jia, so ayun,” he added.

After taking the first two sets with ease, the Cool Smashers found themselves trailing by one, 21-22, late in the third set.

Domingo then roofed Nicole Tiamzon to tie the game before Gumabao delivered a booming ace to put Creamline ahead by one, 23-22. Domingo once again came through, scoring a quick before Jonah Sabete committed an attack error which ended the game.

Tiamzon and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas led the Angels with 10 points each while Grethcel Soltones had nine points.

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Middle blocker MJ Phillips missed the game due to a shoulder injury.

Creamline will go up against Cignal on Thursday, 4:00 PM (Filoil EcoOil Centre) while Petro Gazz looks to bounce back against Choco Mucho later that day at 6:30 PM.

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