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Creamline goes 5 sets with Petro Gazz, escapes undefeated

MANILA, Philippines, November 10 ------ PVL rivals Creamline and Petro Gazz forged another lengthy chapter in their conflict-laden history as the Cool Smashers stayed undefeated in the 2023 Second All-Filipino Conference with a 22-25, 25-23, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13 escape over the Angels.

Capping off a near 11-hour quadruple-header slate at the PhilSports Arena, Creamline rallied from a 1-2 set deficit to keep its title defense unblemished with 5-0 record in solo first place, while Petro Gazz dropped to a three-way, sixth-place tie at 4-2. Michele Gumabao led the offense early with a team-high 19 points in just the first three sets played, while three-time MVP Tots Carlos provided a finishing spark off the bench with 16. Unfazed by the Cool Smashers’ massive 7-0 windup in the fourth set to arrange a decider, the Angels kept within one early on, 4-5, off a Jonah Sabete hit.

Petro Gazz, however, shot itself in the foot at the worst time as fourth-set hero Bernadeth Pons scored an ace off a defensive miscommunication, before Grethcel Soltones followed with an antenna hit and a crossing violation, capping a 4-0 Creamline spurt for the sudden 9-4 separation. Despite the Angels’ best comeback efforts, yet another error all but deflated their last-gasp rally as Rem Palma gifted match point to the Cool Smashers off a service error, 14-11.

A late Aiza Maizo-Pontillas hit and a Carlos attack error still put Petro Gazz within striking distance, 13-14, but Carlos quickly atoned for her miscue with one last kill to finally ice the two-hour, 27-minute showdown. “Of course, we’re happy that we overcame our struggles and won. We’re really happy because everyone in the team delivered, and that’s what matters in crucial matches, the teamwork,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino. “We’re also thankful with our bench players. They’re not even really ‘bench players.’ They’re really just the ones with the opportunity to finish the game.” he added.

Jema Galanza shone in an all-around supporting role with 15 points, 13 excellent digs, and 12 excellent receptions, while Kyle Negrito steered the offense with 22 excellent sets. Soltones and Sabete led all scorers in the heartbreaking loss with 23 and 22 points, respectively. Palma scored 14 hiked by a game-high 4 blocks, as Pontillas rounded out the losing cause with 13 points, 16 excellent digs, and 15 excellent receptions.



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