Creamline, Army still undefeated; BaliPure secures first win



MANILA, Philippines – The Creamline Cool Smashers displayed their firepower against Banko Perlas Spikers, 25-10, 19-25, 25-17, 25-23, to stay unbeaten in 4 games in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Wednesday, August 21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Cool Smashers displayed their balanced scoring in the opening set, but it was Alyssa Valdez who weathered the defense of the Perlas Spikers in the last two frames.

Valdez was unstoppable with 26 points that went with 15 digs while Jema Galanza and Michele Gumabao chipped in 16 and 12 markers, respectively. Risa Sato, who came alive in the 3rd set, had 11 points. 

Creamline ended a lopsided 1st set with a 14-2 run anchored on the brilliant playmaking of Jia Morado as the squad held Banko to just 10 points. 

The Perlas Spikers, though, took the momentum away from the streaking Cool Smashers in the 2nd frame as Ella de Jesus provided the sharp serves that sparked a huge 10-0 run that erased an eight-point deficit on the way to Banko’s 25-19 set win.

After Creamline rebounded in the 3rd, the final set went back-and-forth but it was the late heroics of Valdez and Gumabao that gave Creamline a slim separation 23-21, enough to cap the day’s triple-header. 

Dzi Gervacio unloaded 16 points while Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon were in double figures with 13 and 10 as the Perlas Spikers dropped to a 2-2 slate. 


Army escapes Choco Mucho

Earlier, the Pacific Town Army Lady Troopers rose from two sets down against the Choco Mucho Flying Titans and snatched a grueling five-set victory, 39-41, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-12, that featured a record-setting first-set action.

The untiring Jovelyn Gonzaga had a stellar performance of 24 points, 26 excellent digs and 16 excellent receptions while Royce Tubino fired 21 points to power Army to a 2-0 start.

The record-breaking opening set saw an exchange of errors, extensive rallies and 40 combined attack points from the two teams. 

Choco Mucho came back from an 18-22 deficit and impressively survived 11 set points against Army before taking the highest scoring set in PVL history, 41-39, through Kat Tolentino’s service ace.

While the Flying Titans carried the momentum in the next set, the Lady Troopers managed to turn things around.

Army fought for survival after closing the 4th frame with a 7-0 blitz as Lut Malaluan came through on the defensive end and Gonzaga continued to bombard Choco Mucho with her impressive kills. 

The Flying Titans tried to recover their bearings in the 5th set with Cindy Imbo coming off the bench and scoring 3 straight points to equalize the game at 11.

It wasn’t enough, though, as Army answered back behind Nene Bautista and powered the Lady Troopers in the closing moments of the match.

Tolentino and Maddie Madayag led Choco Mucho with 23 and 19 points, respectively, while Bang Pineda added 9 points and 29 excellent digs as Choco Mucho slipped to 1-1. 


BaliPure scores breakthrough win  

The BaliPure Water Defenders, meanwhile, booked their first win of the conference over the Philippine Air Force in another five-set thriller, 26-24, 16-25, 25-19, 17-25, 17-15. 

The match went back-and-forth in the final set as both teams were eager to crash the win column, but BaliPure survived two match points all thanks to Graziella Bombita’s timely offense.

Bombita carried the load for BaliPure with a game-high 23 markers along with 15 excellent digs while Menchie Tubierra and Satriani Espiritu, who came up big in the 3rd set to put their squad ahead in set points, added 17 and 13 points, respectively.

Air Force, though, was dominant in their set victories with Dell Palomata playing sensational in the 2nd set and Wendy Semana distributing the ball well.

Palomata and Judy Ann Caballejo had 13 points apiece while Angel Antipuesto chipped in 12 markers for the Air Force.

The Water Defenders improved to a 1-2 record while Air Force remained winless in 3 outings. –