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Creamline too much for PLDT as Cool Smashers advance to semis

March 8 ------ Creamline clinched the first semifinals seat in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference after halting PLDT’s winning streak, 25-20, 25-21, 25-17 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City, Tuesday.

Tots Carlos and Celine Domingo took charge for the Cool Smashers, who solidified its hold of the top spot with a league-best 6-1 win-loss standing. Carlos finished with 18 points on 15 attacks, two aces, and a block along with 14 excellent receptions and seven excellent digs while Domingo had 17 points on 15 attacks and two rejections. Jema Galanza had an all-around effort of 11 points, 11 excellent receptions, and seven excellent digs. Jia De Guzman tossed 20 excellent sets in the victory while Michelle Gumabao and Jeanette Panaga combined for 13 markers. “Siyempre happy kami at nakapasok ulit kami sa semifinals. Ma-improve pa sana yung mga next game namin specially sa semifinals kasi back to zero na yung ano dun e, so thank you at nakapasok kami ulit,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses.

After taking the first two sets, the Cool Smashers stepped on the gas pedal in the third set and pulled away late via a 4-0 spurt that gave them a 20-12 advantage. The High Speed Hitters failed to mount a comeback as the Rebisco-backed squad sealed the deal after an hour and 29 minutes of action. “Yung last year hindi natin masasabi na hindi pabor sa amin. Talagang natalo lang talaga siguro kami, hindi para sa amin yung last conference. Pero syempre wala ng quotient, wins na lang talaga kaya pagbubutihin namin sa semis,” added Meneses.

PLDT failed to sustain its hot 4-0 start in the first set as Creamline eventually took the lead midway en route to a 25-20 win that was capped off by a Wendy Semana service error and a Celine Domingo quick. The Cool Smashers halted a late High Speed Hitters rally in the second set with Tots Carlos scoring an off-the-block hit to push Creamline to a 24-21 advantage before Jema Galanza finished it off with a back row offspeed attack.

Michelle Morente top-scored for PLDT with 12 points while Mika Reyes added 11 markers in the loss. The High Speed Hitters are currently tied with Petro Gazz and F2 Logistics at the second spot with identical 4-2 win-loss records.

Creamline will face Akari on Tuesday at 6:30 PM at the San Agustin Gymnasium in IloIlo City while PLDT will face Cignal on Saturday also at 6:30 PM at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.


Editor's note:

In the other game, F2 Logistics moved on the cusp of a semis berth after sending Choco Mucho to the brink, 25-23, 25-19, 13-25, 25-22. Kianna Dy fired a game-high 23 points on 19 attacks, two blocks, and two aces as the Cargo Movers bolstered their semis bid with a 5-2 win-loss record – good for second. Myla Pablo, who exited the game early in the fourth set due to cramps, finished with 15 points. Aby Marano added 12 points and 8 excellent digs. Kim Fajardo dished out 22 excellent sets, while Dawn Macandili registered 23 excellent digs for F2 Logistics.


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