Cool Smashers break Angels’ heart, enters Finals


ILOCOS NORTE – Creamline kept its composure in the first two sets then drubbed Petro Gazz with its power game in the third to chalk up a 27-25, 25-22, 25-16 win and clinch the first finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference here on Monday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra.

Behind another striking game from Tots Carlos, a steady outing from Alyssa Valdez and solid backup from the rest, the Cool Smashers broke away in a tight third set duel to storm to leads of 16-9, 18-11 and 23-14 as the Angels cracked after reeling on a bad break, enabling Creamline to cruise to the straight-set triumph and a sweep of their best-of-three semifinal series.

The win came on the heels of Creamline’s 27-29, 25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 16-14 victory in the series opener, keeping the Cool Smashers on track of the crown in the inaugural staging of the country’s pro volleyball league after ruling this tournament in the then semi-pro PVL before the pandemic scrapped the 2020 season.

“I don’t know…but I’m just really happy playing,” said Carlos as she gasped for air following another draining game that had her firing 21 points, a day after pouring in 23 hits and combining with Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza to pull off their tough Game One win.

Galanza finished with 12 points, Pangs Pineda added 10 points while Risa Sato chipped in eight hits as Valdez practically let her teammates ran the show and settled for a nine-point output after a 25-point performance last Sunday.

Displaying grace under pressure, the Cool Smashers survived the Angels in the extended opening frame, out-steadied their rivals in the stretch in the second and pulled away from a shaky 9-7 lead in the third when Valdez’s spike that didn’t hit the Petro Gazz blockers’ arms but the top of the net as seen in slow-mo replay was ruled an off-the-block hit, thus hiking the Cool Smashers’ lead to three points.

It was downswing from there for the Angels, who failed to neutralize the Cool Smashers’ sustained firepower that came from all angles, enabling Creamline to post seven-point leads that proved too big for the former to overcome.

Petro Gazz likewise sorely missed Myla Pablo’s offensive sock as the former National U standout finished with just three points after exploding for 26 hits in Game One. Ria Meneses topscored for the Angels with nine points while Ces Molina added eight points and Remy Palma and Gretchel Soltonoes combined for 13 hits.

Stunned by Choco Mucho Sunday night, Chery Tiggo got back at the Flying Titans via the same fashion as the Crossovers pulled off a 25-18, 25-22, 26-24 victory to force a rubber match for the other championship seat in the earlier game.

They dispute the slot at 4 p.m. today (Tuesday).

Jaja Santiago, foiled in her bread-and-butter play with Jasmine Nabor a number of times, never gave up and regained her tempo and timing under the wire, powering the Crossovers to the straight-set victory that sent their best-of-three semifinal series into a deciding game to be telecast live on One Sports (Free to Air), and One Sports+ (Pay TV) with both channels available for linear streaming on Cignal Play and on with replays on

“Choco Mucho gave us a good fight. They’re very aggressive but the ladies just poured their hearts out for this match,” said Chery Tiggo coach Aaron Velez, who made the necessary adjustments, particularly in their service reception, to atone for their 18-25, 22-25, 21-25 setback in Game One.

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