MANILA, Philippines – The Chery Tiggo Crossovers – already eliminated from PVL finals contention – played the ultimate spoiler role after ending the Creamline Cool Smashers’ Grand Slam bid with a third-set demolition on the way to a five-set loss, 16-25, 25-20, 25-14, 11-25, 9-15, on Tuesday, November 29.
PVL | WATCH:— Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) November 29, 2022
Creamline captain Alyssa Valdez reflects on the Cool Smashers' bittersweet win over Chery Tiggo that still ended a 7-conference finals streak and a historic Grand Slam bid.#PVL2022 pic.twitter.com/KgOCW4h75u
Due to Creamline only getting 2 points in the five-set win, the defending Reinforced Conference champion Petro Gazz Angels clinched the second finals berth after taking down fellow eventual finalist Cignal HD Spikers in four sets in the first game of the day’s double-header at the PhilSports Arena.
With that win, Petro Gazz earned 3 points for 6 total, eclipsing Creamline’s 5 amid a three-way standings tie at 2-1 that triggered the league’s tiebreaker system. Cignal, despite losing in four sets, also has 6 points due to its first two sweeps to start the round robin semifinals.
Petro Gazz and Cignal now head to their best-of-three finals series on Thursday, December 1, 5:30 pm, at the Araneta Coliseum, while Creamline and Chery Tiggo start their battle for bronze at 2:30 pm.
Import Yeliz Basa led the way with 27 points off 22 attacks, 3 aces, and 2 blocks, while Alyssa Valdez scored 18 off 15 spikes and 3 aces.
Jia de Guzman tallied 24 excellent sets and 12 excellent digs with 6 points, but it was not enough as Creamline still ended a seven-conference finals streak dating back to 2018.
The Cool Smashers had a fighting chance until the midway point of the third set, when they last led 11-10. However, Chery Tiggo cranked up its defense to shocking levels as it fired off an 8-0 run powered by 5 block points for an 18-11 lead, and never looked back.
Creamline only watched in stunned silence as one last Valdez attack error ended its historic 2022 Grand Slam bid that started with back-to-back titles in the Open and Invitational Conferences.
The Cool Smashers could only play for pride in the fourth and fifth sets as they demolished their surprise title hope-crushers with a pair of blowouts to complete the bittersweet win.
Conference MVP candidate Mylene Paat led four Crossovers in double-digit scoring with 15 points and 15 excellent digs, while import Jelena Cvijovic and local spiker Cza Carandang scored 13 and 12, respectively. – Rappler.com