By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Creamline Cool Smashers kept its cool and displayed poise under pressure after storming back from a 0-2 set deficit to shock the PLDT High-Speed Hitters, 22-25, 25-27, 25-21, 25-19, 15-12, in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference semifinals.
It was one of the toughest tests the Cool Smashers faced since the start of the Invitational Conference after the High-Speed Hitters kicked off the duel with crisp offensive executions.
After taking the first two sets, the Cool Smashers were on the brink of losing their first semifinal game but like what they say, “Never underestimate a heart of a champion.”
From getting exposed in their middle blocking, Creamline made crucial adjustments at the start of the third period and fortified its floor defense with better communication from the backline.
Tots Carlos once again proved to be Creamline’s heroine after taking a bulk of their scoring and finished the nip-and-tuck affair with 22 big points built from 18 successful attacks, three blocks, and 12 digs.
Once Carlos got it going in the third set, the whole Creamline squad was revitalized that spearheaded the team’s come-from-behind victory.
Creamline continued its consistent offensive performance in the fourth set backstopped by a much-improved middle-blocking that setup a thrilling fifth and final set.
The PVL defending champions fired from all cylinders at the start of the deciding set and immediately built a 10-5 lead but the High-Speed Hitters came roaring back and inched close quickly with their timely blazing attack.
From facing a five-point deficit, PLDT suddenly went back in the driver’s seat and deadlocked the intense match at 11-all.
Answering the call once again for the Cool Smashers was Carlos who helped her team take over the lead and capped off the duel with a 3-1 closing burst.
“Masaya kami na nakarecover kami doon sa two sets to none. Medyo slow start talaga pero ganon talaga kailangan lang makarecover,” said Cool Smashers head coach Sherwin Meneses.