BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Tots Carlos pulled Creamline from the jaws of defeat to beat Petro Gazz in a five-set thriller, 27-29, 25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 16-14 in the Game One of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference semifinals at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon.
“We have to give credit to Petro Gazz also. They’ve been really doing well, hindi lang sa net defense, grabe din atake nila today,” said Creamline skipper Alyssa Valdez.
With the scores locked at 10-all, Jeanette Panaga and Carlos gave the Cool Smashers a two-point advantage in the deciding fifth set.
Jia Morado committed a service error in the ensuing play before Petro Gazz blocked Valdez for the tie.
Carlos converted another hit before Valdez incurred a service error which locked the scores at 13. The UP product put the Cool Smashers at match-point, but a net violation was called on Creamline afterward.
Carlos once again delivered before Jema Galanza ended the match.
Valdez top-scored for the Cool Smashers with 25 points while Carlos — who fired eight big points in the clincher — finished with 23 to put Creamline a win away from the finals.
Galanza chipped in 16 points in the win along with 21 excellent receptions while Jia Morado churned the offense with 37 excellent sets laced with three points and 16 excellent digs.
“We just really listen to our coaches kasi there were some adjustment s in the middle of the game — towards the latter part of the third set and fourth set. We’re just really happy at that moment na apply namin,” said Valdez.
Creamline was poised to claim the opening set after taking a 23-20 advantage over Petro Gazz off an Alyssa Valdez off-the-block hit.
Pablo and Ria Meneses, however, helped the Angels tie the match before costly errors from the Cool Smashers helped Petro Gazz take the 1-0 advantage.
The Rebisco-backed squad managed to avoid the same mistake in the second set as Galanza, who subbed in for the struggling Carlos, sealed the set to tie the match at 1-all.
Pablo then dominated the entire third set to put the Angels ahead with a 2-1 lead, but the Cool Smashers quickly forced a fifth set through the efforts of Carlos and Galanza.
The former NU star’s 26-point outing went down the drain as the Angels fumbled a 2-1, lead.
Ces Molina added 16, points, 15 digs, and 14 receptions in the loss while Grethcel Soltones added 10. Meneses was held to just seven points.
Creamline will try to end the series while Petro Gazx will hold on for dear life in Game Three tomorrow, Monday at 5:00 PM.