CREAMLINE stretched its perfect run to four while Choco Mucho kept within striking distance of the defending champions with a third straight win in the PVL Open Conference yesterday at the PCV Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra.
Bucking the absence of middle blocker Jeanette Panaga, the Cool Smashers made quick work of PLDT, 25-16, 25-12, 25-13, sending the Power Hitters reeling to their fourth consecutive loss.
Not to be outdone are the Flying Titans, who spoiled the Perlas Spikers’ much-awaited debut with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 victory in the second match.
Alyssa Valdez produced her best percentage in attacks this season, as the Creamline skipper went 16-of-29, while Michele Gumabao was a solid contributor in defending the net, scoring four of her nine points from blocks.
Solidifying their hold of the top spot, the Cool Smashers have actually won 24 consecutive matches dating back from the 2019 Open Conference.
Panaga was scratched in the starting six due to a sprained right ankle the one-time NCAA champion suffered during Creamline’s five-set win over Black Mamba-Army last Thursday and will be out for at least a week.
Seldom-used Ced Domingo, filling the void left by Panaga, responded well with six points in her first start this conference.
“Expected contribution ni Celine (Domingo), same naman din tine-training nila everyday. Maganda pinakita ni Celine sana magtutloy tuloy contribution ng bench,” said Cool Smashers assistant coach Sherwin Meneses.
Jema Galanza chipped eight points, including two service aces, 13 digs and nine receptions while Jia Morado tossed in 19 excellent sets for Creamline.
Ponggay Gaston had nine points, 22 digs and five receptions while Kat Tolentino also scored nine points, including four blocks for Choco Mucho.
Coach Oliver Almadro was happy the way the Titans are connecting well as the conference goes on.
“Siguro nagkakaroon na ng timing yung middle namin at saka sa setter. But of course, hindi pwedeng tumigil kailangan tuloy-tuloy lahat ng teams din gumagaling, lahat ng teams nagkakaroon ng cohesiveness so we really have to maximize also yung familiarity namin, kinakailangan namin yun eh,” said Almadro.
With the way the Perlas Spikers performed, Almadro credited their foes for their effort despite what the club went through before the entering the bubble.
“You know naman Perlas, all of the players are talented they are really talented so I’m sure they will bounce back and talagang malakas yung team nila,” said Almadro.
Cherry Nunag tallied 11 points for Perlas, which will complete its back-to-back set against Chery Tiggo at 3 p.m. today.
Isa Molde had seven kills while Shola Alvarez, who was a substitute in the second and third sets,