Marano Aby Marano celebrates with teammates. PVL photo

Titans,Cool Smashers cross paths

April 17, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 151 views

DavisonCHOCO Mucho and Creamline cross paths once again tonight in a crucial showdown that has major implications in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals race before an expected sellout crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

While no championship is on the line in their highly anticipated 6 p.m. clash, the 8-1 Flying Titans are aiming not only for the top spot in the preliminaries but also the first semis berth.

The Cool Smashers are locked in a four-way tie at 7-2 and cannot afford to drop matches from now on to keep their reign alive.

The last time Choco Mucho and Creamline met, a Philippine volleyball record-breaking crowd of 24,459 fans saw the Cool Smashers sweep the Flying Titans at the fabled Big Dome in Game 2 of the Finals last Dec. 16.

Choco Mucho, led by reigning MVP Sisi Rondina, needs a three- or four-set victory to secure the first semis seat.

Creamline is tied with PetroGazz, Chery Tiggo and PLDT at 7-2 but the Angels and the Crossovers will face two also-ran teams in their last two matches, practically giving them the inside track to the next round.

After the Flying Titans, the Cool Smashers will take on the High Speed Hitters on April 25 in a virtual knockout match for the last slot.

Blocking will play a pivotal role with both teams equipped with talented middles who can pose threats both offensively and defensively. The two clubs have also emphasized coverage throughout the tournament with their floor defense proving as effective as their offense.

With seven championships, Creamline brings unparalleled experience and poise to crucial battles like these.

However, Choco Mucho is hungry for redemption after its first title attempt ended in a loss last December.

But one potential obstacle for Choco Mucho is Kat Tolentino, who missed her last three matches due to an auditory condition. However, coach Dante Alinsunurin remains optimistic about his Flying Titans chances while stressing the importance of facing the Cool Smashers well-prepared.

Meanwhile, Farm Fresh and Strong Group tangle in the 4 p.m. opener.