Perlas Spikers stun Angeles; Creamline wins

Michele Gumabao
MICHELE Gumabao celebrates a point with her Creamline teammates during their PVL Open Conference match with Air Force yesterday. 

BANKO-Perlas rebounded from a lackluster second set to down PetroGazz, 25-20, 11-25. 25-21, 25-18, for a winning start in the PVL Open Conference yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

Skipper Nicole Tiamzon and Dzi Gervacio delivered the goods for the Perlas Spikers to clinch their first win as the Angels failed to sustain their impressive second set romp.

With a retooled rotation which saw Ella de Jesus back as a regular spiker and the acquisition of a new libero in Nina Balang that boosted its floor defense that was lacking in previous campaigns, BanKo-Perlas was able to adjust right away.

“Nag-jell agad ang team. Malaking bagay sa amin sa kumpiyansa ng team kahit maraming bago,” said Tiamzon.

Earlier, Michele Gumabao had 14 points while Alyssa Valdez added 13 points and 12 digs as Creamline set in motion its title-retention bid with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-15 romp of comebacking Air Force.

Dzi Gervacio took the scoring mantle for the Perlas Spikers with 14 points to go with 17 digs while Tiamzon added 12 points and seven receptions.

Back in her usual position as open spiker, De Jesus was a revelation for BanKo-Perlas with nine points, including four service aces and a block, and had eight receptions.

The season-opening loss will serve as a wake-up call for PetroGazz to step up after winning the import-laced Reinforced Conference.

The Angels lost for the first time in five meetings with the Perlas Spikers this season.

Jovie Prado, who was given more time after toiling most of the time in the bench last conference, led PetroGazz with 13 hits, 13 digs and 11 receptions, while Jeanette Panaga had two blocks and two service aces to finish with 10 markers.

Valdez, who accounted two of the Cool Smashers’ six service aces, admitted that her team is far from their fine form in the conference opener against the Lady Jet Spikers who are making a return stint in the PVL after skipping the previous tournament.

“I think every start of the conference naman, there’s this a feeling na parang you don’t know what to expect talaga from your opponent. Knowing Air Force, we haven’t seen them play for the longest time siguro,” said Valdez. 

“It’s a completely different team, so we were really expecting that it will be a long and hard match. But, during the first set, as a team, nag-aadjust kami. Kasi three weeks yung lay-off namin preparing for this conference. Iba pa rin yung may kasama kang import sa Reinforced. So I think, overall, we were really adjusting and we were really coping pa rin sa system na dinadala sa amin ulit ni coach Tai (Bundit),” she added.