MANILA, Philippines – The undefeated Creamline Cool Smashers again proved why they are one of the most elite teams in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) after a four-set domination of the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, in Game 1 of the 2022 Open Conference semifinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Friday, April 1.
With the victory, the 2021 Open runners-up moved one win away from clinching a finals spot, and now aim for a sweep on Sunday, April 3, 3 pm, as the series moves to the Mall of Asia Arena to accommodate a whole lot more fans.
Tots Carlos once again flexed her attacking prowess all over the hapless Choco Mucho defense as she led all scorers with 26 points off 21 attacks, 4 aces, and 1 block.
Four other Creamline stalwarts breached double-digit scoring, led by Alyssa Valdez’s 17 plus 13 excellent digs, while Jema Galanza and Pangs Panaga added 10 points apiece.
Apart from a forgettable second-set loss, the Cool Smashers dominated on both ends of the floor in all frames they won, most notably in the pivotal fourth set where they overturned a 3-1 Choco Mucho lead to an 11-6 gap off a 10-3 run ending with a booming Galanza kill.
The Titans only got within four, 10-14, before their defense completely fell apart, and gave up a game-sealing 11-1 blitz, highlighted by a lucky Carlos ace that snagged the net before falling in.
“We’re just so thankful that at the end of the day, we get to boost the entire team’s morale with this win because we know how quickly the games pass by one after the other,” Valdez said after the game.
“At least we will now have the motivation to keep on working harder with every single training and preparation.”
Compared to Creamline’s five double-digit scorers, only Kat Tolentino breached double figures on the losing end with 13 points off 11 attacks and 2 blocks. Isa Molde only scored 4 in a starting gig, but made up for it with 13 excellent digs and receptions each.
On the other end of the bracket, the likewise undefeated Cignal HD Spikers are now also a win away from the finals after handling the Petro Gazz Angels in three, hard-fought sets.
The rest of the semis and Game 1 of the finals will all be held at the MOA Arena before the league moves again to the Ynares Center in Antipolo City for Game 2 and possibly Game 3, if necessary. – Rappler.com