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Chery, Creamline cross paths

Games today:
(Sta. Rosa Sports Complex)
2:30 p.m. — Petro Gazz vs PLDT
5:30 p.m. — Chery Tiggo vs Creamline

Expect nothing but fireworks when Chery Tiggo and crowd darling Creamline cross paths in the battle of undefeated teams in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna today.

Between the two powerhouse squads, the grand slam-seeking Cool Smashers will be extra motivated in the marquee matchup as Creamline shoots to secure the second Final Four seat.

But it will definitely be a tall order for the Cool Smashers as the surging semifinals-bound Crossovers have no intention of seeing their hot winning streak snapped when they march to court in the 5:30 p.m. encounter.

Meanwhile, Petro Gazz and skidding PLDT clash in the 2:30 p.m. curtain-raiser to boost their semis chances.

The Angels sport a 2-1 win-loss card while the High Speed Hitters are on a three-game slide after winning their season-ending conference opening day assignment.

Chery Tiggo grabbed the first bus ride into the round robin semifinals slated to begin on 24 November after subduing also-ran Army, 22-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-18, 15-12, last week.

The Crossovers hold the solo lead with a 5-0 win-loss record while Creamline is close behind with a pristine 4-0 mark.

Parading a deep arsenal, the Cool Smashers are on the right track in their bid to complete a sweep of the season following their Open and Invitational conferences conquests.

But Creamline surely knows that it carries a huge target on its back.

The Cool Smashers had an upset scare in their last outing as newcomer Akari behind high-scoring Dominican import Prisilla Rivera stole the opening set before Creamline regrouped for a come-from-behind 23-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21, escape.

“I think our experience in the previous game will help us heading into our next match. It’s a bit of a wakeup call for us that we have to give 100 percent or 200 percent each game,” Cool Smashers ace setter Jia Morado-De Guzman, who is averaging 6.25 excellent sets per frame, said.

Creamline will be banking on Turkish import Yeliz Basa, reliable veteran Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza, middles Ced Dimingo and Jeanette Panaga and libero Kyla Atienza.

The Cool Smashers hold a huge advantage statistically as they lead the league on service winners with 1.56 aces per set and in setting with 7.00 excellent sets per frame. Defensively, they are on top of the digs department with 15.56 digs per set and on reception with 44.48 percent efficiency.

Creamline is also ahead in attacking efficiency with 32.63 percent compared to Cherry Tiggo’s 31.88 percent.

Still, Crossovers head coach Clarence Esteban is unfazed.

“It will be a game of momentum. We must quickly seize momentum for us to hurdle Creamline,” he said.

Chery Tiggo will rely on league-leading local scorer Mylene Paat, Cza Carandang, EJ Laure and Montenegrin import Jelene Cvijovic to carry the team once again to victory.

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