PVL: Despite faulty air conditioning, Creamline keeps cool in win over Petro Gazz

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

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

The game went on despite the heat and Creamline managed to keep its cool in the opening set, breaking a 15-15 deadlock by scoring six straight points before Alyssa Valdez put on the finishing touches for a 1-0 set lead.

The air conditioning was eventually fixed by the second set and the Cool Smashers sustained their form en route to a 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 win over the Angels. It was Creamline’s first straight-sets win of the conference.

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

“In practice, we train without aircon. I think we just really have to turn our perspective into something positive. We’re doing this every single game,” said Valdez. “It also our advantage because we really broke a sweat while playing. Our bodies warmed up and it also worked for us.”

“We’re just really thankful that everyone stayed focused and didn’t think of the little distractions,” she added.

Jema Galanza, who also shone with 14 points built on 12 attacks and two aces, shared the same sentiment.

“Good thing we were able to adjust right away because it’s hard to play when the venue is hot. It’s more tiring. But we realized we’re not the only ones playing, Petro Gazz also experienced it,” said Galanza, who was sweating even in the postgame press conference.

“The heat also helped us to get warmed up. But regardless of temperature we will keep on fighting and playing well,” Galanza, who also had eight digs, added.

Despite winning the first of their three semis games, Valdez stressed the Cool Smashers can’t let their guards down as they take on Cignal, which also swept Chery Tiggo earlier, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Creamline is also set to battle the Mylene Paat-led Crossovers on Tuesday at Ultra, eyeing to reach the Finals to complete their Grand Slam bid.

“All the teams have equal footing coming into the semifinals so we need to keep our focus. We really enjoyed today’s game and we’ve learned so much. Hopefully, we would be able to bring this confidence since this is our first three-set win this conference. We need to gain more going to the few more games this semis,” the three-time PVL MVP said.

Galanza also has no plans of letting up as she remains determined heading into their morning practice on Friday.

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