Five-set meltdowns have been a feature in Creamline’s previous tussles with rival F2 Logistics in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
The solution? Don’t wait for a deciding set.
“[W]e’re happy to finally get one against F2,” Cool Smashers coach Sherwin Meneses said on Saturday.
And, as Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao said, “good thing [finally beating F2] happened in the semis.”
The Cool Smashers outplayed the first-time semifinalists Cargo Movers, 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, at the start of their All-Filipino semifinal showdown at Philsports Arena, putting them on the doorstep of another finals appearance.
“We’re happy because it’s good timing to win against them. But the series is not yet over so we have to prepare,” said Meneses.
WATCH: Volleyball player Michele Gumabao talks to the press following Creamline’s victory over F2 Logistics. #PVLAFC2023 | @LanceAgcaoilINQ pic.twitter.com/za3G6zvXP9
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The source of his wariness might lie in previous meetings with the Cargo Movers in the PVL, both ending in agonizing five-set defeats.
“Better late than never,” said Gumabao, after a 20-point night where she and Tots Carlos inflicted the most damage on F2. But the former La Salle star said the goal was never to end the Cargo Movers’ mastery of them but to keep the Cool Smashers’ eyes on the bigger picture.
“[C]oach always tells us to focus on our own team, not our opponents,” Gumabao said.
Tots Carlos, the reigning conference Most Valuable Player, delivered a game-high 22 points go with 17 digs and 15 receptions, while Gumabao scored eight of her total points in the fourth set as Creamline moved on the cusp of its fifth straight All-Filipino Finals and eighth overall.
Playmaker Jia De Guzman also shone with 26 excellent sets and four points.
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