MANILA (UPDATED) -- The Creamline Cool Smashers finally got one against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in the Premier Volleyball League -- and it happened in a most crucial part of the All-Filipino Conference.
The Cool Smashers halted their losing streak against the Cargo Movers as they registered a 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, win in Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinals affair at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Creamline, which is seeking to extend their reign in the All-Filipino tilt, is now a win away from another finals appearance.
Tots Carlos steered the Cool Smashers with 22 points aside from 17 digs and 15 excellent receptions. Michele Gumabao also contributed heavily for the team with 20 points built on 18 attacks and a block.
“Siyempre happy kami, kasi it's semifinals na eh. So, timing 'yung pagka-panalo namin, pero hindi pa naman tapos 'yung laban. So, kailangan pa talaga mag-prepare. Pero happy kami, naka-isa na kami sa F2,” head coach Sherwin Meneses said.
F2 Logistics was not able to use the service of Myla Pablo, who has been sidelined due to nagging injuries while Creamline's Alyssa Valdez remained on the bench as she is still recovering from her right knee injury.
After dropping the third set, Creamline avoided another collapse, starting the fourth frame with a 5-0 run capped by back-to-back down-the-line kills from Carlos.
The Cool Smashers held onto the upper hand as Jema Galanza went for a spike, 11-4. Elaine Kasilag tried to spark an F2 run with a couple of hits but their errors halted their momentum.
Gumabao and Carlos, then, pulled their acts together in the final stretch of the set before Ivy Lacsina’s attack went wide to end the match.
Kim Kianna Dy led the Cargo Movers with 13 points while Kasilag and Lacsina added 21 combined markers.
Down by two in the third, F2 stole the lead as Creamline suffered into a maze of errors, 16-15. It was a neck-and-neck battle in the ensuing play until Aby Marano’s push gave the Cargo Movers a 21-19 lead.
The Cool Smashers moved closer as Gumabao went for a crosscourt hit, 21-22, but Kim Fajardo won in a joust before Galanza’s spike sailed out, 24-21.
Creamline will attempt to end the series against F2 on Tuesday, March 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena.