MANILA – The Creamline Cool Smashers capped the elimination round of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference on a high note.
On Saturday, the Cool Smashers dominated the Army Black Mamba, 25-20, 25-22, 25-16, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre to enter the semifinals with a 5-1 win-loss slate.
Meanwhile, the Army slid to a 3-3 record putting them in a crucial position with the PLDT High Speed Hitters and Choco Mucho Flying Titans – all vying for the last two semis seats.
Alyssa Valdez led Creamline with 15 points but also got solid support from league’s leading scorer Tots Carlos (13) and Jema Galanza (11).
It was a nip-and-tuck battle in the third set as Army erased a seven-point deficit, courtesy of Mary Anne Esguerra’s quick hits. They went as close as 16-17 after an off-the-block hit by Royse Tubino.
This forced Creamline to call for time, which eventually resulted in an 8-0 closeout as Carlos and Galanza teamed up in the frontline for a series of relentless attacks.
In the second set, the Lady Troopers also kept their opponent within reach as an error by Pangs Panaga tied the set at 20.
But Panaga would score an ace followed by a hitting error from Jovelyn Gonzaga that gave the Cool Smashers a 2-0 lead.
Tubino and Gonzaga finished the game with 10 points apiece.