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Creamline nears PVL finals

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PVL Jema Galanza powers Creamline to a three-set win over Chery Tiggo yesterday in their PVL All-Filipino Conference semis showdown at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Defending champion Creamline inched closer to another title showdown stint after dismantling Chery Tiggo, 25-18, 27-25, 25-22, in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals Thursday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Jema Galanza, Tots Carlos and skipper Alyssa Valdez sizzled on offense to lead the unbeaten Cool Smashers to their 12th straight win of the season-ending conference.

Creamline relied on its experience and veteran composure to come back from two points down in the extended second set before weathering the Crossovers’ late rally in the third frame to complete the one-hour, 44-minute encounter.

The Cool Smashers can close out the best-of-three series on Saturday for their sixth straight all-Filipino finals and 10th overall championship stint.

“But of course, the battle is far from over. We still need to win one more game to get into the finals,” Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses said.

“It’s back to training for us and for us to check our lapses so we could have a better showing.”

Galanza scored all but one of her 17 points off spikes while adding nine excellent receptions and seven digs in an all-around performance. Carlos got 15 points, 14 coming from spikes, and 12 digs while Valdez got 12 points.

Best Setter frontrunner Kyle Negrito dished out 23 excellent sets to help the Cool Smashers outgun the Crossovers on kills, 51-40.

Chery Tiggo threatened to equalize in the second set after yielding the opening frame, reaching set point, 24-22, after an Eya Laure kill. Creamline forced a deuce, 24-24, before the Crossovers regained the set point advantage.

The Cool Smashers tied it again before Valdez hammered a kill followed by a service ace to steal the frame.

Creamline was in control for most of the third set taking a 20-17 lead before Chery Tiggo fought back to draw close, 23-21. Pangs Panaga scored on a quick attack to put the Cool Smashers at match point.

Galanza committed an error on the next play but Mylene Paat threw the Crossovers’ chances of a comeback with an attack error.

Laure was the lone Chery Tiggo player in double figures with 18 points while Paat and Cza Carandang had nine each.

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