Grand slam-seeking Creamline occupied the second Final Four seat after outhustling Chery Tiggo, 25-23, 20-25, 25-12, 32-30, in a gripping battle of powerhouse teams in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna Saturday.
Celine Domingo slammed the winning back-to-back hits to close the two-hour, 16-minute match as the Cool Smashers hiked their unbeaten record to 5-0 and joined their victims in the round robin semifinals.
Creamline saved five set-point advantages in the thrilling fourth set windup before Domingo fired a hit to put the Cool Smashers at match point, 31-30.
The Invitational Conference Finals Most Valuable Player sealed the game with a quick kill as Creamline moved closer to completing its goal of claiming a third straight title in as many tournaments in PVL’s first season as a professional league.
“That fourth set really could go either way. We’re lucky we got the breaks of the game. We had some lapses and I hope we could address that. We’re just happy we got the win” Cool Smashers head coach Sherwin Meneses said.
Turkish import Yeliz Basa led Creamline with 22 points off 19 attacks, two aces and a kill block. She also contributed 10 digs.
Jema Galanza scored all her 14 markers on attacks and has 12 excellent receptions while Alyssa Valdez finished with 13 points and nine digs for the Cool Smashers. Domingo and Panaga chipped in 10 points each.
The Crossovers slid to second spot with a 5-1 card.
Montenegrin import Jelena Cvijovic had 18 points, skipper Mylene Paat got 14 markers while Roselle Baliton finished with 12 for Chery Tiggo. EJ Laure fired nine points and had 16 excellent receptions and four digs in a losing effort.
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