By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Domination at its finest.
For another Premier Volleyball League (PVL) outing, the Creamline Cool Smashers just punched a ticket to the semifinals of the All-Filipino Conference after blanking the NXLED Chameleons, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21, last November 23, 2023, held at the Philsports Arena.
With the playoff spot secured, the Cool Smashers just completed an all-year-round Final Four sweep in the PVL while also extending its undefeated All-Filipino Conference record to 8-0.
In a game where the majority expected the more experienced Creamline team to dominate, the young and energetic NXLED team showed they came to play and made the Cool Smashers earn every set with their fighting spirit and resiliency.
All three sets were a tight contest, a sole proof of the Chameleons’ quick improvement despite playing their first season as a unit together.
However, the reigning queens of the PVL avoided any upset heading into the semifinals and pulled off three gut-wrenching wins to earn their eighth straight victory.
Jema Galanza was all systems go for the Cool Smashers after finishing the game with 14 points built from nine successful attacks alongside four service aces.
When the Chameleons threatened to inch close in all the third sets, Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses banked on her veteran outside hitter to deliver in the big moments.
Galanza also flaunted her underrated floor defense after she tallied nine excellent receptions and eight excellent digs.
After a thrilling first set, the Cool Smashers began to read NXLED’s offensive schemes and made their adjustments in their middle blocking and floor defense.
“Yung adjustments sa situation kasi talagang lumalaban talaga yung Nxled so naka-adjust talaga yung players namin lalo na nung first set,” Meneses explained.
Backstopping Galanza are Michele Gumabao and former Most Valuable Player (MVP) Tots Carlos who each chipped in 12 points apiece.
Despite the sure semifinal spot, the Cool Smashers will look to finish the preliminaries with a perfect record on November 28, 2023, when they face the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in their last regular season game.