Home Sports Creamline-Petro Gazz battle can paint clearer semifinal picture

Creamline-Petro Gazz battle can paint clearer semifinal picture

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Creamline Cool Smashers PVL All-Filipino COnference

Creamline Cool Smashers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –PVL PHOTO

Creamline has never been threatened this much practically in the past two Premier Volleyball League seasons, as the Cool Smashers suffered their first loss in the last two All-Filipino conferences before coming so close to losing another just more than a week ago.

And with the lead on the line, the Cool Smashers take on another formidable foe in Petro Gazz at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna in a match that carries a lot of ramifications in the race for berths in the Final Four.

As things stand, Creamline is tied for top spot with PLDT and Choco Mucho, which will have a relatively lighter foe in Capital1 in the 4 p.m. game. The Angels share fourth spot with Chery Tiggo at 5-2, with a win vaulting the Angels right in the mix.

Ax to grind

Petro Gazz, safe to say, has an ax to grind with Creamline as the two teams have met in four title series with the Cool Smashers winning three.

Brooke Van Sickle has obviously strengthened Petro Gazz since arriving in the last conference as the Angels now have a legitimate go-to-gun when the going gets tough.

Both squads will come into this game having won their last assignments last March 26 before the league went on a Lenten break.

And while Petro Gazz had an easier time in dispatching of Capital1 that day, Van Sickle said that they spent the Holy Week break to “recover bodies and make sure we’re a hundred percent … [to] watch film” and will “take care of business” as the Angels return to action.

The Cool Smashers needed to rally from two sets down to beat Cignal and dodge a second loss, and coach Sherwin Meneses had said after the marathon win that they “will take it easy before preparing hard for Petro Gazz.”

While Van Sickle will lead the Angels’ offense, Meneses has a loaded roster led by Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez and Michele Gumabao.

Akari, which is at 2-5 despite a massive manpower buildup in the offseason, battles Galeries Tower in the 2 p.m. contest with both squads playing for pride more than anything else. —Musong R. Castillo



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