MANILA (UPDATED) – Creamline's title defense is still alive as the Cool Smashers booked the first finals berth in the PVL All-Filipino Conference 2023 on Tuesday.
The Cool Smashers pummeled the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in Game 2 of their semifinals series, 25-22, 25-23, 25-16, at the Mall of Asia Arena to advance to the championship.
Leading the Cool Smashers was Tots Carlos with 19 points while Jema Galanza added 11 points, 15 digs, and 12 excellent receptions.
“Siyempre sobrang saya namin kasi knowing F2, talagang solid yung team nila ngayong conference na to. Happy kami at hindi nag fourth set, di nag-fifth kasi siyempre mahirap ding kalaban sila,” head coach Sherwin Meneses said.
“Thank you Lord na nakaraos kami sa game na to. Sabi nga ni coach, sobrang bigat nito dahil parehas talagang pinaghandaan yung laban. Yun lang, sobrang nagpapasalamat sa coaching staff na talagang pinaghandaan lahat ng kaya nilang ibigay sa amin at siyempre sa team na di naman sumuko talaga,” Galanza added.
Creamline will await the result of the do-or-die game between Petro Gazz Angels and PLDT High Speed Hitters for their finals opponent.
It was a neck-and-neck battle in the second set as both teams could not build a safe distance.
With the score tied at 23, Galanza took matters into her own hands as she hammered a through-the-block hit followed by a crosscourt spike for a 25-23 win.
But unlike the first two sets, Creamline appeared to have a better breathing room in the third set as Gumabao made it a 12-7 ball game.
It went as far as 18-10 as Ced Domingo, whose leg was heavily bandaged, unleashed a quick hit. F2 Logistics could not get a run despite scoring several points and eventually allowed Galanza to punctuate the match.
Kim Dy was the lone bright spot for the Cargo Movers, tallying 11 points. Returning Myla Pablo, who was benched for their last couple of games due to nagging injuries, contributed nine markers.
This will be Creamline’s fifth straight finals appearance in the All-Filipino Conference, where they look to bounce back after missing the championship in the Reinforced Conference.