Sat. Dec 3rd, 2022

Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez gestures during a match against Petro Gazz in the PVL Empowered Conference semifinals. PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — A malfunctioning air conditioning system didn’t stop Creamline from dominating Petro Gazz and winning their first win in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Powered Conference semifinals, held at the Philsports Arena on Thursday.

The match continued despite the heat, and Creamline managed to keep her cool in the opening set, breaking out of the 15-15 stalemate by scoring six points before Alyssa Valdez put the finishing touches to a 1-0 lead.

The conditioning eventually improved in the second set and the Cool Smashers continued their form on their way to a 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 win over the Angels. This was Creamline’s first win in the conference.

Valdez, who has 11 points and 15 receptions in two blocks, said that they got used to the steamy conditions in training.

“We train without air conditioning in practice. I think we should change our perspective to something really positive. We do that every game,” said Valdez. “It’s also to our advantage because we sweat a lot while playing. Our bodies are warmed up and that has worked for us as well.”

“We’re really grateful that everyone is focused and not thinking about the little distractions,” he added.

Jema Galanza, who shines with 14 points built on 12 attacks and two aces, shared the same feeling.

“Luckily, we were able to adapt right away because it’s hard to play when the pitch is hot. It’s more tiring. But we realized that we weren’t the only ones playing, Petro Gazz experienced that too,” said Galanza, who was sweating even at the post-match press conference.

“The heat also helped us warm up. But regardless of the temperature, we will continue to fight and play well,” he added.

Despite winning the first of three semi-finals, Valdez stressed that the Cool Smashers couldn’t let their guard down as they beat Cignal, who had previously swept Chery Tiggo at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

Creamline will also tackle the Mylene Paat-led Crossovers at Ultra on Tuesday, aiming to reach the Finals to complete their Grand Slam bids.

“All teams going to the semi-finals are equal so we need to stay focused. We really enjoyed the game today and learned a lot. Hopefully, we can bring that confidence as it is our first three-set win in this conference. Three-time PVL MVP, a few games in this semi-final. “We need to win more and more,” he said.

Galanza is also not willing to give up, as she is determined to go to morning practice on Friday.

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