Creamline finally gets back at F2 Logistics to close in on PVL Finals return
MANILA, Philippines — Creamline finally got one over F2 Logistics as the defending champion outplayed the first-time semifinalist for a 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15 victory to inch closer to the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Finals on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
After suffering five-set meltdowns in their first two meetings, the Cool Smashers made sure to triumph the more important game with Tots Carlos and Michele Gumabao dealing the damage to the Cargo Movers to take Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinals series.
Both teams played without two of the best spikers with Alyssa Valdez ruled out of the series with a right knee injury and F2 Logistics newest star Myla Pablo sitting out with nagging injuries.
Reigning MVP Carlos delivered a game-high 22 points to go with 17 digs and 15 receptions, while Gumabao put on the finishing touches in the fourth set as she scored eight of her 20 points in the frame.
“Better late than never,” said Gumabao after finally winning one against F2 Logistics. “Good thing it happened here in the semis. But coach always tells us to focus on our own team, not our opponents.”
Creamline moved on the cusp of its fifth straight All-Filipino Finals and eighth overall as it tries to end the series in Game 2 on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We’re happy because it’s good timing to win against them. But the series is not yet over so we have to prepare. But we’re happy to finally get one against F2,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino.
Playmaker Jia De Guzman also shone with 26 excellent sets and four points, including two aces. Jema Galanza finished 12 points and nine receptions, while Jeanette Panaga added 11 points, as she scored five of the Cool Smashers’ nine straight points early in the second set for a 13-6 margin.
Creamline stretched the second set lead to 19-10 but F2 Logistics’ bench led by Chinnie Arroyo trimmed the deficit to four, 22-18. Carlos and Domingo stopped the bleeding with back-to-back attacks followed by Iris Tolenada’s attack error to take a two-set advantage.
After taking a 2-0 match advantage, the Cool Smashers committed 11 of their 29 errors in the third set as Elaine Kasilag nailed the finishing touches to force another frame.
Creamline was quick to get its act together in the fourth with an 8-1 start and never looked back as Gumabao delivered the finishing blows.
Kim Kianna Dy led the way for F2 Logistics with 13 points. Kasilag filled in Pablo’s spot with 11 points, including three blocks, while Ivy Lacsina added 10 markers.