MANILA, Philippines – The Creamline Cool Smashers started the next phase of their Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Grand Slam bid with a rousing sweep of the defending Reinforced Conference champion Petro Gazz Angels, 25-21, 25-20, 25-23, at the PhilSports Arena on Thursday, November 24.
Import Yeliz Basa brushed off a minor shoulder issue from her last game to lead the way with 17 points, while Jema Galanza scored 14 with 8 excellent digs at the start of Creamline’s semifinal campaign.
Alyssa Valdez tallied 11 points with 15 excellent receptions as Jia de Guzman rounded out the offense with 19 excellent sets and 4 points off 3 aces.
With its backs against the wall after falling behind two sets to none, Petro Gazz banked on the scoring prowess of import Lindsey Vander Weide and middle blocker MJ Phillips to take a 20-19 lead late in the third.
Both teams then traded leads in the crucial stretch before the Angels rose one last time at 23-22 off another Vander Weide kill.
However, Creamline showed championship poise in the clutch as it rattled off a game-winning 3-0 spurt, started by a Phillips net touch and ended with back-to-back Celine Domingo kills for the win.
Vander Weide paced the loss with 16 points, while Phillips and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas scored 11 and 10, respectively.
In the second game of the semis double-header, the Cignal HD Spikers likewise got their first win off a hard-earned sweep of the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, 28-26, 25-17, 25-23.
Import Tai Bierria once again came off the bench, but eventually took over the game with a game-high 21 points off 19 attacks and 2 blocks, while Angeli Araneta scored 10.
Rachel Anne Daquis pumped out 9 points in just two sets played off the bench, as star blockers Ria Meneses and Roselyn Doria rounded out the balanced attack with 8 points apiece.
MVP candidate Mylene Paat, meanwhile, got checked to just 11 points on a 10-of-38 attack clip as supporting import Jelena Cvijovic added 10 points, 10 excellent receptions, and 9 excellent digs in the losing cause.
Winning runs will next come to a head at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, November 27 as Creamline and Cignal clash at 2:30 pm, while both Petro Gazz and Chery Tiggo stave off a quick elimination at the 5:30 pm main event. – Rappler.com