MANILA, Philippines – Creamline will head to the semifinals unbeaten as the Cool Smashers outlasted Motolite in 4 thrilling sets, 25-19, 25-22, 24-26, 25-16, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Wednesday, October 23 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Motolite gave the No.1 team a scare in the 3rd set, but Creamline managed to escape and finished the elimination round perfect even without ace players Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado.
Top skipper Jema Galanza displayed another stellar performance and dropped 23 points and 21 excellent receptions while Michelle Gumabao posted her own all-around output with 14 markers and 23 excellent digs.
Kyle Negrito showed fine playmaking prowess and dished out 23 excellent sets while Kyla Atienza covered the floor well with 29 excellent digs and 10 receptions.
Valdez and Morado are both in Japan for the national team’s training.
After winning a tightly contested opening frame, Creamline carried the momentum and blasted an 8-3 start in the 2nd set. The Power Builders tried to spark a comeback, but Galanza proved clutch and delivered the crucial kills for the Cool Smashers.
Tots Carlos paced the Motolite offense in the 3rd set and gave them set point, 24-22, before Myla Pablo hammered down a kill to shut down Creamline’s fightback.
The Cool Smashers, though, easily seized control in the 4th set and closed their unscathed run with a 6-1 spurt.
Pablo led the Power Builders’ offense with 14 markers while Carlos and Ai Gannaban chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Motolite, which finished 4th with a 10-6 record, will face Creamline again in a best-of-three semifinals starting Saturday at 2 pm.
No. 2 Petro Gazz downs Choco Mucho
Petro Gazz will ride on a three-game winning streak heading to the semis as the Angels blanked Choco Mucho Flying Titans, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18.
The Angels, who secured 2nd place with a 12-4 slate, banked on their explosive gunner Jonah Sabete, who fired 14 points as Jovelyn Prado also did a bit of everything with 12 markers, 13 digs and 11 receptions.
Despite wasting a big early lead, Petro Gazz got back on track and fired 4 straight points to build enough separation in the opening set, 18-14.
Choco Mucho flashed a better start as both squads exchanged runs in the 2nd frame, but the Angels got the last laugh as Prado fueled a late 5-1 rally to snatch the set.
Petro Gazz kept its offense going and dictated the pace in the 3rd set as Sabete ended the Flying Titans’ elimination round with a high-flying kill.
Kat Tolentino carried the load and scored 20 points along with 16 excellent digs for Choco Mucho, which slid to 6-10.
The Angels will kick off their own semis series against the No. 3 BanKo Perlas on Saturday at 4 pm.
Air Force settles for 5th, trips Army
Meanwhile, the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers ended their run on a high note as they beat their rivals Pacific Town Army Lady Troopers in a hard-fought four-setter, 28-26, 25-20, 26-28, 26-24.
Dell Palomata and Judy Ann Caballejos led the Air Force charge with 15 points apiece, Joy Cases added 13 markers while veteran hitter May Ann Pantino had an all-around performance of 10 points, 25 excellent digs and 20 excellent receptions.
The returning Jet Spikers had a monumental run as they rose from a 0-5 start to grab the 5th spot with an 8-8 record.
Royse Tubino and Nene Bautista tallied 14 and 12 markers, respectively, as Jem Gutierrez and Joanne Bunag combined for 22 points for the Lady Troopers, who dropped their sixth straight match and finished with a 6-10 record. – Rappler.com
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