Creamline brushed aside a lethargic onset, asserting its mastery over Motolite with a four set decision, 18-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-14, to secure Game One of the 2019 PVL Open Conference best-of-three semifinals series, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
“We’re happy about the win. The goal of the team naman is really to get Game One for mentally, pagpasok ng Game Two mataas din ‘yung confidence namin [sic],” Creamline captain Alyssa Valdez said.
With the return of Valdez and Jia Morado, the Cool Smashers looked to seize control right from the get-go, but Motolite had other ideas. The latter leaned on its wingers and sprinted to a commanding edge in the early goings, stunning the former for a 1-0 set lead.
Displaying championship mettle, Creamline bounced back in a ferocious manner. It belted Motolite with a 23-14 whipping in the second set to even things out.
The Cool Smashers then figured in a seesaw battle in the third frame. Knotted at 21, the troika of Valdez, Michele Gumabao and Ced Domingo created crucial separation, allowing the defending champions to close in on the victory.
From that point onward though, Creamline ran roughshod over Motolite, mounting a 23-14 cushion. Pau Soriano and Valdez then put up the finishing touches.
Valdez top-billed with 20 points built on 16 attacks, two kill blocks and a pair of aces. She also laced her stellar offensive outing with 16 excellent digs for a double-double outing.
Gumabao supplied 16 markers, while Jema Galanza contributed 13 points and 12 excellent receptions. Soriano and Domingo chimed in 11 markers apiece, with the latter notching three rejections.
Battle-tested playmaker Jia Morado ably distributed the wealth, fanning out 26 excellent sets. Meanwhile, Creamline defensive specialist Kyla Atienza tallied 36 excellent digs and 20 excellent receptions.
“Sa game na ito, parang nakukuha namin ‘yung chemistry ng bawat isa kasi hindi naman na kami bago din. Bukas tuloy lang namin ng mas maganda pa doon,” Galanza said.
Creamline also stayed hot, as it remained unbeaten through 17 matches.
On the other hand, Isa Molde led Motolite with 15 points anchored on 11 attacks, a pair of blocks, and two aces. Tots Carlos posted a triple-double of 13 markers, 19 excellent digs, and 19 excellent receptions. Aie Gannaban managed 10 markers in a lost cause.
Ace hitter Myla Pablo, who willed through pain, was limited to just six points. Motolite skipper Iris Tolenada dished out 16 excellent sets, while libero Ayel Estrañero had 24 excellent digs.
Game Two is on October 27, Sunday, at the same venue.
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