Games Tuesday(PhilSports Arena)2:30 p.m. — Chery Tiggo vs Creamline5:30 p.m. — Cignal vs Petro Gazz
DENIED of a historic three-peat feat, Creamline isn’t about to let a consolation third-place finish slip away.
Drawing strength from two-time MVP Tots Carlos in place of import Yeliz Basa, the Cool Smashers waylaid the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, 25-22, 22-25, 25-5, 25-19, yesterday to move on the cusp of claiming the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference bronze medal at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Playing limited time most of the conference because of injuries and Turk Basa consuming most of the former’s minutes, the power-hitting Ms. Carlos was finally unleashed in full glory and responded by uncorking a 19-point masterpiece that included 18 on kills.
The effort propelled the Open and Invitational Conference champion to a 1-0 lead in its best-of-three series.
Another win in Game Two on Tuesday at the PhilSports Arena would seal the Rebisco-owned franchise its third bronze since snaring a couple of it in its maiden season five years back.
A decider, if necessary, is on Thursday also at the Pasig venue.
But while it was a medal of a different color, it will still be enough to sooth the Cool Smashers’ aching hearts after they missed making the finals and getting that shot at a rare Grand Slam by a mere set.
“Of course we’re happy we got the win and recover from us not being able to play in the finals,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses. “We just told ourselves to enjoy this game and the next game and the win will just come.”
“Creamline is a team that needs to play happy to do good things,” he added.
Skipper Alyssa Valdez also came through big with 16 hits on 12 spikes and four blocks while contributing on floor defense with 10 digs.
Same with Jeannette Panaga, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza, who chipped in 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The collective effort was enough to fill the void left by Basa, who sat out entirely on this one.
With the game tied at one set apiece, the Cool Smashers went firing on all cylinders with a lethal mixture of unrelenting offense and rock solid blocking to dominate the Crossovers with one of the most lopsided set wins in league history.
It was what Creamline needed to turn the tide and crush whatever fight was left with Chery Tiggo, which wasn’t the same in the fourth set that the former took. — Joey Villar