PVL: Despite flawed conditioning, Creamline keeps its cool in victory over Petro Gazz

Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez gestures during the game against Petro Gazza in the PVL Reinforced Conference semifinals. PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – A malfunctioning air conditioning system did not stop Creamline from dominating Petro Gazz and earning its first victory in the semifinals of the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Thursday at the Philsports Arena.

The game continued despite the heat and Creamline managed to keep their cool in the first set, scoring six straight points before Alyssa Valdez put the finishing touches on a 1-0 set lead to break a 15-15 tie.

Finally, the conditioning was fixed in the second set and the Cool Smashers held their form en route to a 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 victory over the Angels. It was Creamline’s first consecutive conference win.

Valdez, who had 11 points, including two blocks and 15 receptions, said they were used to the steamy conditions in practice.

“In practice, we train without conditioning. I think we just need to change our perspective to a positive one. We do that every game,” Valdez said. “That’s also our advantage because we really sweated when we played. Our bodies warmed up and it worked for us.”

“We’re really grateful that everyone is focused and not thinking about the little things that distract you,” she said.

Jema Galanza, who shone with 14 points based on 12 attacks and two aces, shared the same feelings.

“It’s good that we were able to adapt immediately because it’s difficult to play when the venue is hot. It’s more tiring. However, we realized that we are not the only ones playing, Petro Gazz also experienced this,” said a sweaty Galanza at the press conference after the game.

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

Despite winning the first of their three semi-final games, Valdez stressed that the Cool Smashers cannot let their guard down when they take on Cignal, who earlier faced Chery Tiggo, on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Creamline will also take on the Mylene Paat-led Crossovers at Ultra on Tuesday, looking to advance to the Finals to complete their Grand Slam bid.

“All teams have equal conditions until the semi-finals, so we have to stay focused. We really enjoyed today’s game and learned a lot. Hopefully we can bring that confidence because this is our first three-set win in this conference. We have to go a few more games in this semifinal and win more,” said the three-time PVL MVP.

Galanza has no plans of giving up, either, as he is determined to go to practice Friday morning.

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