Defending champion Creamline overcame a scare in the opening set before crushing Chery Tiggo, 26-24, 25-21, 25-21, in Game 2 of Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals for a return ticket to the championship round Saturday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The unbeaten Cool Smashers’ firepower was too much for the Crossovers to handle as Creamline completed a sweep of the best-of-three semis series for a sixth straight all-Filipino finals stint and 10th championship appearance overall.
Creamline remained unscathed in 13 games in the season-ending conference.
Reigning Most Valuable Player Tots Carlos flexed her muscle on offense, uncorking 19 points with all but one coming off kills while also submitting 13 excellent receptions and seven digs in an all-around performance for Creamline, which also beat Chery Tiggo in straight sets in the semis opener last Thursday.
The Cool Smashers will face in the best-of-three championship on Thursday the survivor between their sister team Choco Mucho and Cignal.
The Flying Titans cruised past the HD Spikers, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22, in their semis pairing to force a Game 3 on Tuesday.
“We’re happy to be back in the finals but we have to up the ante for us to achieve our goal of winning the championship,” Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses said.
“We’ll scout on Tuesday and prepare well against the team that we will face in the finals. We’ll focus on our system during training,” Meneses added as his squad seeks to win a third straight all-Filipino crown and fifth overall.
Creamline trailed Chery Tiggo, 22-21, in the first set before shooting back with a 3-1 swing to move at setpoint, 24-23. Eya Laure, who showed up despite playing under the weather, forced a deuce only to see her sister EJ Laure commit an error in the next play as Pangs Panaga saved the set for the Cool Smashers with a kill block.
It was all-Creamline in the next two sets as the Crossovers played catch up the whole game.
Jema Galanza added 17 points and eight excellent receptions while Alyssa Valdez and Panaga had 14 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Cool Smashers.
Chery Tiggo suffered its fourth straight loss with only EJ Laure scoring in double figures with 14 points and added 10 excellent receptions.
Pauline Gaston had nine markers, Shaya Adorador got eight points while Eya Laure only made five in limited minutes for the Crossovers.