Creamline pulls out another close one for No. 3

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Tots Carlos leads Creamline scorers vs Black Mamba. PVL MEDIA

ILOCOS NORTE—Creamline went through another wringer before scoring a 20-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13 victory over Black Mamba Army on Thursday to remain undefeated in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference eliminations at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra here.

In a tense-filled finish dominated by the lesser-fancied Lady Troopers, heart prevailed over experience as the Cool Smashers fought back from 3-9 down behind Michele Gumabao, Tots Carlos, Jeanette Panaga and Alyssa Valdez as Creamline won a third straight match to retake the solo lead.

Carlos, earning a starting spot after an impressive seven-hit performance in the last two sets of Creamline’s 24-26, 28-26, 26-22, 25-20 victory over Petro Gazz last Tuesday, more than tripled her previous output, finishing with 26 points, including 24 attacks.

“We made some adjustments, they worked and it’s a good thing that we were able to clinch the win,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses, whose heavily favored wards sat on pins and needles majority of the match in the face of the Lady Troopers’ superb all-around game.

Valdez rued the team’s miscommunication and lack of focus, resulting in 39 unforced errors against their rivals’ 19.

“We kept on thinking what to do and worry on what would happen,” said Valdez, who backed Carlos with 20 hits. “Next time, we should play with a clear mindset so we could play our game.”

Sato and Gumabao combined for 25 points while Jema Galanza added seven and Panada chipped in nine hits before being carried out of the court following a collision with Valdez toward the end of the match.It was a sorry setback for the Lady Troopers, who for most stretch of the two-hour, 10-minute encounter proved they could topple a star-studded crew as Creamline with their deliberate, well-thought-out plays.

Yielding the first two points in the decider, they racked up six hits behind Ging Pabayo, Royse Tubino and Christine Francisco against a lone Gumabao attack to take command. They hiked their lead to six on a Galanza mishit.

Army, which drew 18 points from Jovy Gonzaga and 14 hits from Tubino, fell to 1-2.

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