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Creamline keeps perfect slate, downs Petro Gazz

Jema Galanza displays her all-around skills in leading unbeaten Creamline to its fifth straight win. (PVL photo)

Defending champion Creamline outworked Petro Gazz in a tense five-setter, 25-22, 23-25, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13, to remain unbeaten in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Thursday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Cool Smashers displayed great resolve in weathering the Angels’ late fifth set uprising to turnback the same squad they defeated in the finals of the first edition of the AFC early this year and keep a tight hold of the solo lead with a perfect 5-0 win-loss record.

Michele Gumabao paced Creamline with 19 points with all but one coming off attacks in just three sets of action while Tots Carlos scored all of her 16 markers off kills. Jema Galanza filled the stats sheet with 15 points, 13 digs and 12 excellent receptions for the Cool Smashers.

Creamline raced to a 9-4 lead in the deciding frame and even held an 11-7 advantage before Petro Gazz made a crucial run to close the gap, 11-10.

The Cool Smashers moved a match point, 14-11, but were again threatened by the Angels fightback to breathe down their necks, 14-13, after a Carlos attack error.

Carlos then made amends with a game-clinching hammer.

Bernadeth Pons and Carlos connived in the closing stretch of the fourth set to force the deciding frame as Creamline broke a 19-19 deadlock with six straight points courtesy of the duo.

Petro Gazz absorbed its second defeat in a row to slide to a 4-2 card tied with F2 Logistics.

Grethcel Soltones got 23 points including 21 attacks, Jonah Sabete had 22 markers while Remy Palma and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Chery Tiggo recovered from a set down to turn feisty Nxled, 22-25, 31-29, 25-23, 28-26, for its third straight win.

The Crossovers grabbed their fifth victory in six games but paid a steep price as young middle blocker Imee Hernandez went down with an apparent left knee injury in the second set.

Eya Laure flexed her muscle on offense as she scattered 23 points including 20 kills and had 13 digs for Chery Tiggo. Mylene Paat and Ce Robles had 16 markers each while Pauline Gaston added 12 points for the Crossovers.

“Credit to coach Taka’s (Minowa) team. We really had to bleed for each point so did they. They were playing on a high level while we started cold,” Chery Tiggo assistant coach Kungfu Reyes said.

Jasmine Nabor dished out 20 excellent sets that helped the Crossovers rain down 74 attack points.

The Chameleons dropped their fifth straight game in six outings.

Lycha Ebon fired 18 points and had 10 digs while Jho Maraguinot and Camille Victoria scored 15 markers each for the Nxled. Krich Macaslang got 10.

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