Creamline won PVL Finals; PLDT brings slow start, development chain
Creamline wasted no time — or time — winning a championship.
“We missed the final in the previous games but this time everyone is ready to step up,” said Jia de Guzman, the astute fixer who pulled the strings for one match. 25-22, 25-23, 25-16 victory over F2 Logistics on Tuesday pushed the Cool Smashers into the All-Filipino Conference Finals of the Premier League.
“We’re overwhelmed and really grateful for this win,” she added after Creamline made it through to the best-of three semi-final series.
Meanwhile, the other half of the Quarterfinals bracket almost ended in another sweep, after the PLDT started a life-and-death like the internet on a dial-up connection.
“We gave up in the first set as if we were still warming up. It was really a slow start, we weren’t focused and we lacked intensity,” coach Rald Ricafort said.
Veteran settler Rhea Dimaculangan felt the same way.
“Actually, at first, we doubted we could win the game,” she said.
It wasn’t until after a tense second set that the team finally lived up to its High Speed Hitters moniker.
“[C]oach told us that the warm-up phase is over, so we should start moving well and playing our usual game,” Dimaculangan said. The result is a 14-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-15 win over Petro Gazz was forced to play rubber to win a place in another Final.
PLDT’s victory gives Creamline more time to prepare for the title match. High Speed Hitters and Angels combine it in a match with no tomorrow on Thursday. Cool Smashers opened game 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena before taking on Cargo Movers in a tight second game, where the lead changed hands several times.
All indications were for a marathon until a stalemate in the 22nd minute, when Jema Galanza pulled Creamline into a 2-0 lead by scoring three points in a row.
With a tight grip on the match, Cool Smashers took the knockout in the third round.
“We’re glad we avoided the fourth or fifth set because they (F2) are tough opponents to deal with,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses. It looked like the first game was headed for a journey for Petro Gazz as PLDT fell 8-22 holes.
“But instead of fighting it,” said Ricafort, “I just told them to forget the first game. [and] gather our actions together in the second volume onwards.
The PLDT dominated the final two sets, taking a 20-10 lead in the fourth set thanks to Kath Arado’s lucky dig that led to a point.
Dimaculangan seamlessly orchestrated the PLDT attack and made 25 excellent sets that helped her four teammates hit doubles.
Mich Morente led that march with 16 points.
Arado covered the floor of PLDT with his defensive acumen, making 26 excellent digs and 12 receptions. Jovy Prado is also credited with 15 points, 11 digs and 10 hits.
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