Cool Smashers stops Crossovers, near PVL crown

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ILOCOS NORTE – Creamline checked an impending collapse with another strong finish to pull off a 25-15, 25-21, 18-25, 19-25, 15-7 victory over Chery Tiggo and move a game closer of winning the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference crown here on Wednesday.

Alyssa Valdez poured in four of her 21 points, while Tots Carlos top scored with 26 hits in the early going of the decider that set the tone for Cool Smashers’ explosive windup in Game One of the best-of-three finals at the PCV Socio Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra.

After yielding the first point on Dindin Manabat hit, the Cool Smashers scored the next six and were never seriously threatened as Valdez and Carlos, along with the rest of the crew, foiled the Crossovers, who struggled in neutralizing the Cool Smashers attacks and failed to convert their plays in transition.

Valdez anchored another big Creamline closeout with a blast that made it 11-5 then soared for another kill for a 13-6 count before finishing off the Crossovers in two hours and three minutes on a combination play.

“We just gave it our all in the fifth,” said Valdez, who also keyed Creamline’s five-set escapes over Army, Choco Mucho and Perlas in the elimination round and Petro Gazz in the Final Four.­­

The victory didn’t only avenge Creamline’s only loss to Chery Tiggo in the elims but also put the Cool Smashers within a victory from ruling the country’s inaugural pro volley league organized by Sports Vision.

Creamline, winner of this tournament in the then semi-pro PVL in 2019, shoots for the clincher at 5 p.m. today (Thursday) with Petro Gazz likewise out to wrap up its series for third with Choco Mucho at 2 p.m.

Games are aired live on One Sports (Free to Air), and One Sports+ (Pay TV) with both channels likewise available for linear streaming on Cignal Play and on gigafest.smart with replays on www.pvl.ph.

Jaja Santiago scored 25 points, mostly on quick attacks, while sister Dindin Manabat added 19 points but the Crossovers groped for form in both sides in the decider coming off inspiring victories in the last two sets.

After overwhelming the Crossovers with their power game in the first two sets, the Cool Smashers scrambled in the face of their rivals’ strong comeback in the next two with the former looking to complete the big turnaround with new-found confidence and momentum.

But Valdez, Carlos and the rest of the Cool Smashers had other things in mind.

Earlier, Petro Gazz trounced Choco Mucho with a strong finishing kick for a 25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 25-20 victory and closer to a bronze medal finish.

The Angels also pounced on the sidelining of Maddie Madayag midway in the fourth, winning 10 of the last 15 points, including the last five to cap their breakaway from a 15-all count on their way to the one-hour, 56-minute victory for a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three series for third.

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