Creamline clinches semis top seed

Defending champion Creamline primed up for the semifinals with a 25-17, 25-22, 27-29, 25-8, win over pesky Akari in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Tuesday night at the packed University of San Agustin Gymnasium in Iloilo City.

Denied of a sweep after allowing the Chargers to mount a late fightback, the Cool Smashers built an early significant lead in a scorching scoring barrage in the fourth set on their way to closing the elimination round with a 7-1 win-loss record and more importantly secured the top seed in the best-of-three Final Four.

Creamline will await its opponent in the semifinals slated to begin on Saturday.

“We have a lot to improve on heading into the semifinals with our consistency and focus on winning each point. In the third set, we didn’t play well. But I’m happy there were no injuries and we’re playing in the semis healthy,” Cool Smashers head coach Sherwin Meneses said.

Meneses also mentioned that main gunner Alyssa Valdez will remain sidelined while recovering from a knee injuryand won’t be available in the semis.

F2 Logistics (6-2), Petro Gazz (6-2) and PLDT (5-2), which will face Choco Mucho on Thursday at the end of eliminations, complete the Final Four cast. The Angels have already secured the no. 2 seed by virtue of superior match points.

Michele Gumabao finished with 19 points including 17 off attacks, Jema Galanza added 17 markers while Tots Carlos had 16 points with four coming from service winners for Creamline. Jia Morado-de Guzman tallied 22 excellent sets and had eight points built on five aces and three hits.

The Cool Smashers broke open the fourth frame with a 23-7 lead after setter Jia Morado landed back-to-back aces before calling it a day followed by a Rosemarie Vargas kill. Janine Marciano ended the Chargers’ bleeding with a through the block hit but an error in the next play followed by a Pau Soriano hammer ended the match.

Akari closed its campaign with a 2-6 card.

Eli Soyud was the lone Chargers player in double digits with 17 points, Trisha Genesis had nine while Dindin Santiago-Manabat had a terrible night with just six points.

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