MANILA – Creamline Cool Smashers moved closer to a title repeat after a 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 win over Petro Gazz Angels in Game 1 of the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference best-of-three finals on Wednesday at San Juan Arena.
Kuttika Kaewpin led the way with 21 points, including 18 attacks and three service aces, while fellow reinforcement Ale Blanco had 18 markers, on 15 spikes and three aces, for the Cool Smashers.
Alyssa Valdez was also impressive with triple-double 16 points, 15 excellent digs and 11 excellent receptions as the Cool Smashers can reclaim its Reinforced Conference crown on Game 2 on Saturday.
After failing to protect its lead in the opening set, the Cool Smashers banked on its experience in the second set with an 18-8 start and a 20-10 domination in the third for a 2-1 set edge.
The Angels showed some urgency in the fourth as it took an 8-3 edge but the Cool Smashers managed to force a tie at 19-all but Blanco came up with clutch points and an error by Angels’ Cherry Nunag sealed the win.
“Breaks of the game talaga and Petro Gazz is very experienced team with two of the best imports right now dito sa PVL,” Valdez said. “Hangga’t hindi pa tapos ang game we kept on pushing each other and ayun maganda naman ang result.”
Janisa Johnson has triple-double 20 points, 18 excellent receptions and 14 digs, while Wilma Salas added 18 markers as the Angels hopes to force a do-or-die Game 3 on Sunday./PN