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Cool Smashers seek elims sweep

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF pvl TOTS Carlos and the Creamline Cool Smashers gun to complete an elimination round sweep of the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

Games today:

(Philsports Arena)

2 p.m. –- Gerflor vs Cignal

4 p.m. –- Galeries Tower vs Creamline

6 p.m. –- PLDT vs Petro Gazz


Cignal shoots to complete the semifinals cast while defending champion Creamline aims to complete an elimination round sweep against separate foes in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference today at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Fresh from over a week of rest, the HD Spikers return to action at 2 p.m. against luckless Gerflor looking to catch the last bus ride to the best-of-three semis.

Meanwhile, the undefeated Cool Smashers are out to keep their clean record intact and to occupy the top seeding in the Final Four against also-ran Galeries Tower at 4 p.m. while PLDT and Petro Gazz clash at 6 p.m.

Cignal sports a 7-3 win-loss record just one game behind of Chery Tiggo (8-3).

A victory will not only assure the HD Spikers a second straight semis appearance after a third place finish in the mid-season Invitational Conference but will also lock the Shaq delos Santos-mentored squad as the semis third seed due to superior points. The HD Spikers and Crossovers currently carry identical 22 match points earned.

Although tipped to get past the Defenders, who are winless in 10 starts and in a 15-game losing skid since joining the league last conference, Delos Santos is not dismissing Gerflor’s ability to pull off a shocker.

“Our mindset is not to relax or take it easy just because our last game is against Gerflor. We want not only to go all-out in our next game but to also build our confidence heading into the semifinals,” Delos Santos said.

“We can’t be complacent,” the mentor added as his squad eyes a second straight win after getting past Nxled, 25-17, 25-14, 25-14, last 25 November.

Veterans Ces Molina, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Ria Meneses, Roselyn Doria and setter Gel Cayuna, along with rising star Vanie Gandler, lead the HD Spikers’ assault against the Defenders’ scoring duo of Danika Gendrauli and Shang Berte.

The Cool Smashers, on the other hand, only need to take down the Highrisers to complete an 11-game sweep of the elims.

Laden with stars in reigning conference Most Valuable Player Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Alyssa Valdez and Michele Gumabao, Creamline is fancied to roll past the newcomer Galeries Tower.

The Highrisers snapped a nine-game losing skid with a breakthrough come-from-behind, 18-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-18, 15-11, win over Gerflor last Thursday.

In the other pairing, the Angels and High Speed Hitters look to break a two-way tie at 6-4 and hope for a miracle for a chance to steal the last semis seat.

The winner of the match could still get into the next round if Cignal loses in straight or four sets.

In this scenario, there will be a two-way tie at 7-4 with both teams ending up with similar 22 match points. The team advancing in the Final Four will be decided through a superior set ratio tiebreak.

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