CREAMLINE overcame another five-setter as it nipped Cignal, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 24-26, 15-10, to remain unbeaten in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference before 6,430 fans at the Philsports Arena last night.
Tots Carlos fired 27 points, Alyssa Valdez had two blocks and two service aces to finish with 22 points, while Jema Galanza contributed 21 points and 17 digs as the Cool Smashers improved their semis record to 3-0 and have extended their perfect run to six matches.
The HD Spikers gave the defending champions fits in the two-hour, 48-minute showdown before falling short, ending a four-match winning streak.
Creamline also got a huge boost from its second libero Ella de Jesus, who collected 19 digs.
Earlier, Royse Tubino dropped 20 points as PLDT pulled off a 25-21, 25-18, 25-19 victory over an off-sync F2 Logistics side to force a three-way tie with its victims and Cignal at 1-2.
The HD Spikers’ defeat negated Ces Molina’s 28-point, 11-dig effort. Rachel Anne Daquis added 14 points while Ria Meneses and Jovelyn Gonzaga logged 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The High Speed Hitters pounced on the visibly exhausted Cargo Movers, who came out flat after a mind-draining, energy-sapping five-set setback to the Cool Smashers last Thursday, enabling thevone-hour, 30-minute victory.
PLDT coach Rald Ricafort said he wasn’t a bit surprised over how F2 Logistics played, having gone through the same hole after salvaging a five-set escape over Chery Tiggo to clinch the last semis seat last Tuesday.
The High Speed Hitters played below par in last Thursday’s 22-25, 15-25, 21-25 defeat to the HD Spikers.
“I’m very happy na bumawi mga players after a bad game against Cignal,” said Ricafort. “Pag galing ka talaga sa five sets, yung rest napaka-importante, kinukulang talaga. Nasaktuhan lang siguro namin na sila (F2) naman ang pagod and we took advantage (of the situation).”
The semis phase, Ricafort said, has become more mental than physical.
“Mga one-and-a-half hour na lang ang training at pray na lang na maganda ang gising ng mga players kasi lahat pagod na,” said Ricafort, as PLDT outhit its foes, 45-30.
Myla Pablo led the Cargo Movers with 10 points, including two blocks, Majoy Baron had four blocks for a nine-point effort while Aby Maraño also had nine points.
Earlier, Cait Viray capped her breakout conference with a 22-point, eight-dig outing as Choco Mucho topped Chery Tiggo, 25-20, 26-24, 25-15, to claim seventh place.
Viray had a solid 17-of-31 attacks, and logged match-highs three blocks and two service aces in a superb all-around performance for the Flying Titans.
“Happy to help team, naibabalik ko, at least, ang tiwala na binibigay sa akin ng mga coaches,” said the lefty Viray.
Sisi Rondina, Viray’s former University of Santo Tomas teammate, ended her debut conference for Choco Mucho with 15 points, nine digs and six receptions.
“Tuloy-tuloy lang at effective ang programa ni coach. So back to the drawing board, training at trabaho uli,” said Rondina.
The Crossovers, who drew Mylene Paat’s 15 points, placed eighth in a conference that saw the pro debuts of their building blocks Eya Laure, Imee Hernandez and Joyme Cagande.