By WAYLON GALVEZ
Creamline established its status as the ‘best team ever’ when it completed an undefeated campaign on the way to a successful title-retention bid Saturday night, pouncing on the PetroGazz Angels 29-27, 25-22, 27-25 in Game 2 of the PVL Open Conference Finals at The Arena in San Juan.
Alyssa Valdez, despite the injuries she had during the elimination round, proved she is still one of the best hitters in the sport with a team high 18 points, while Jema Galanza – named Finals MVP – finished with 16 points.
The Cool Smashers also had solid contributions from Jia Morado, who had 24 excellent sets, while libero Kyla Atienza had 22 digs and 17 receptions.
Creamline’s win avenged a setback to PetroGazz during the previous Reinforced Conference, becoming the first team to post an unbeaten 20-0 record in the conference, going 16-0 in the elimination round, 2-0 in its semifinal sweep of Motolite, and 2-0 in the best-of-three finals series opposite the Angels.
Aside from winning the Finals MVP, Galanza also claimed the Best Open Spiker award, while teammates Kyle Atienza was named Best Libero, and Morado thr Best Setter of the conference.
Others cited were PetroGazz’s Jovie Prado (Best Outside Spiker), Kathy Bersola (Best Middle Blocker) of BanKo-Perlas, Jeanette Panaga (Best Middle Blocker) of PetroGazz and Motolite’s Tots Carlos (Best Opposite Spiker)z
Creamline, which took Game 1 25-23, 25-23, 25-18 last Wednesday, grabbed a 22-18 lead in the third set, but PetroGazz rallied behind Jeanette Panaga’s back-to-back aces and a Creamline miscue to force a tie at 24.
However, the Cool Smashers saved two set points, with Valdez delivering a baseline hit and a succeeding blast to clinch it for the defending champions.
Motolite, meantime, forced Game 3 in the battle for third place with a 26-28, 25-14, 25-19, 25-17 win over BanKo-Perlas.
Myla Pablo finished with 26 points, including two blocks, Tots Carlos added 19 points and nine receptions, while Isa Molde fired three service aces to finish with 15 points and collected 15 digs.