MANILA, Philippines—The breaks of the game may not have come Creamline’s way in a Game 1 loss to Petro Gazz in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Finals but coach Sherwin Meneses said that’s not the reason why the Cool Smashers failed in Sunday’s opener .
Creamline tried to force a fifth set as Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza saved three match points to tie the fourth at 24-all before MJ Phillips brought back the Angels on top with a quick attack.
But in the middle of the final rally, an eagle-eyed Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro called for a video challenge asking for a net touch. The challenge was successful as Jia De Guzman’s arm did touch the net resulting to the Angels escaping with a 25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 26-24 victory.
“E yung breaks of the game naman hindi natin masabi pero hindi kami natalo dahil doon marami kaming lapses, marami kaming errors. Hindi basic doon yung pagkatalo namin. Breaks talaga yun kasi napunta sa kanila. Kasi net touch kasalanan namin,” said Meneses after Creamline absorbed its first Finals Game 1 loss since the 2019 Reinforced Conference against the same team.
“Siguro yung mga 1 to 24 doon kami nagkulang,” he added.
(We can’t predict the breaks of the game but we didn’t lose because of it. We lost because we had a lot of lapses. It was our fault because we really touched the net. But we had a lot of shortcomings when we were still playing 1 to 24.)
Creamline gave up 22 errors in the game, including the costly net touch of De Guzman.
After Petro Gazz snapped Creamline’s 14-game winning streak that lasted for four years, the Cool Smashers have no time to cry over spilled milk as they only have a day to go back to the drawing board before fighting for their title-retention bid in Game 2 on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Of course, everyone was sad after the loss. But it was just only for 20 minutes because we can’t bring our regrets to our training tomorrow because we won’t be able to bounce back. But after the huddle they are okay,” said Meneses in Filipino.
“This is a mind game because we only have one day to prepare. The minds and hearts of our players are strong. So I hope we bounce back on Tuesday,” he added.
Still without three-time MVP Alyssa Valdez, Meneses will continue to rely on team captain and setter De Guzman, who will run the plays for Carlos, Galanza, Michele Gumabao, and middle blockers Celine Domingo and Jeanette Panaga.
“On Tuesday, we have to move better and we have to want it more because Petro Gazz was superb in Game 1,” said Meneses. “We gave up a lot of errors, even the basic errors like service and net touch. Those are the things that we have to adjust.”
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