By CARLO ANOLIN
The Creamline Cool Smashers returned to the win column with authority, sweeping the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-22, 27-25, 25-18, in the 2021 PVL Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte Monday, Aug. 2.
Alyssa Valdez led Creamline with 14 points, 11 coming from kills, while Michele Gumabao added 10 kills of her 11 points.
Jema Galanza also chipped in 10 points for the Cool Smashers who are set to duel with No. 1 and undefeated squad Choco Mucho Flying Titans on Wednesday, Aug. 4.
The Flying Titans appeared ready for their much-awaited showdown after beating the Black Mamba Army Lady Troopers, 25-19, 25-23, 25-19, for their six straight win.
Kat Tolentino led Choco Mucho once again with 18 points, all coming from kills, while Ponggay Gaston fired nine kills of her 10 points and Maddie Madayag scored four block points of her 11 markers.
Tied at 19-all in the third set, Creamline delivered the finishing blow by unloading a 6-0 run with three points coming from Valdez and capped by a Pau Soriano quick off a Jia Morado feed.
Morado’s off-speed hit set the momentum for Tots Carlos’ back row attack and Risa Sato’s service ace for Creamline’s late run.
“‘Yong Cignal talagang lumalaban din ‘yan, depende lang talaga kung anong ilalaro ng kalaban nila,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses. “Hindi naman kami nagpahinga, talagang lumaban lang ‘yong Cignal, maganda yung ginalaw nila. Buti na lang nakabawi kami nung third set so lesson din sa amin ‘yon.”
Creamline bounced back from its previous loss against the Chery Tiggo Crossovers and improved to a 6-1 record while Cignal fell at 1-6 slate.
After securing a 20-8 lead in the third set, Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro called for a major substitution with his bench players.
But the gutsy Lady Troopers fought back with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit by just four points and trail at 23-19 capped by back-to-back attacks from Mary Jean Balse-Pabayo.
It was their last gallant stand, though.
Balse-Pabayo and Honey Royse Tubino paced Army with 10 points apiece.