Creamline escapes Petro Gazz for share of lead

Creamline took a share of the lead after outlasting Petro Gazz, 25-19, 16-25, 25-18, 27-25, in a gripping battle of powerhouse teams in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Tuesday.

Turkish import Yeliz Basa and skipper Alyssa Valdez played clutch in the closing stretch in the extended fourth set to power the Cool Smashers to their second win in as many games to tie Chery Tiggo on top of the leaderboard.

“We just got the breaks of the game in the fourth set especially when they were already ahead by two points. Our players didn’t give up,” Cool Smashers coach Sherwin Meneses said.

Basa took matters into her own hands as she pounded back-to-back hits that allowed Creamline to save two set points and force a deuce at 24.

Angels’ American reinforcement Lindsey Vander Weide put Petro Gazz back at set point advantage only to commit a service error in the next play paving the way for Valdez to score on an off the block hit to put Creamline at match point.

Petro Gazz yielded in the rematch of the 2019 import-laden conference Finals after Jonah Sabete touched the net as she tried to block Valdez’s spike attempt.

Basa smashed 24 kills, had two kill blocks and two aces for 28 points for the grand slam-seeking Cool Smashers.

Valdez filled the stats sheet with 14 markers anchored on 13 attacks laced with 22 digs and 15 excellent receptions while Jema Galanza got 13 points.

Setter Jia Morado-De Guzman tallied 24 excellent sets that helped Creamline rain down 56 attack points.

The Angels took the second set with an amazing 12-2 spurt that turned a 13-14 deficit into a stunning reversal to the delight of the crowd.

The Cool Smashes answered with their own 13-5 blast to take the third frame.

Vander Weide scored 27 of her 28 points on kills, MJ Phillips got 16 while Jonah Sabete had a quiet six markers but listed 20 excellent receptions and 10 digs.

Petro Gazz joined Cignal, Akari, PLDT and Choco Mucho with 1-1 record.

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