The Creamline Cool Smashers overcame a 1-2 set deficit to escape the gritty Perlas Spikers in a five-set thriller, 25-12, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Friday.
The Cool Smashers closed their elimination round campaign on top of the standings with an 8-1 win-loss record at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
After equalizing the match at two sets apiece, Creamline flaunted their offensive weapons to pull away early in the shortened deciding frame.
Jema Galanza went for an off-the-block hit before the Cool Smashers scored back-to-back kill blocks for a 6-2 lead.
Tots Carlos also made her presence felt in the fifth with several varieties of attacks, while Galanza continued her onslaught, 9-4.
Alyssa Valdez then drilled a couple of hits followed by an attack error of Jhoana Maraguinot for a commanding 12-6 separation.
Perlas raked in a string of points in the latter part of the set, capped by a through-the-block spike of Maraguinot, to close the gap, 10-14, but Heather Guino-o’s back row hit went wide to end the match.
Valdez led Creamline with 24 points but received a solid 20-point output from Carlos. Michele Gumabao and Galanza had a combined 24 markers too.
“We give credit for Perlas today, they really give a good fight. Floor defense nila overall total team effort. We believe sa tiwala ng mga coaches namin na everyone in our team na gagawa,” Valdez said.
Meanwhile, Cherry Rose Nunag paced Perlas, which dropped to 1-7 at the bottom of the leaderboard, with 17 points while Maraguinot finished 12 points.