MANILA, Philippines – The Creamline Cool Smashers made light work of their limping sister team Choco Mucho Flying Titans with a 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 sweep in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference on Saturday, July 23.
Tots Carlos flexed her MVP form with a conference-high 25 points on 23 attacks, 1 block, and 1 ace in just three sets, while Jia de Guzman broke out with 26 excellent sets, also a conference-high for the 3-1 Cool Smashers.
Alyssa Valdez only scored 9, but made up for it with 15 excellent digs and 12 excellent receptions, while Jema Galanza added 10 points.
Coming off a 14-25 blowout loss in the second set, Choco Mucho started its comeback attempt with a 5-0 run to open the third, and maintained a 12-8 separation midway through.
However, the severe lack of personnel was just too much to overcome as the nine available Flying Titans saw the Cool Smashers flip the script with a pivotal 10-3 barrage, capped by a Valdez off the block hit for an 18-15 lead.
Although Choco Mucho managed to power through for a 20-all lead, Creamline regained control with a crucial 3-0 spurt ending with a Carlos block to set up the endgame in the pink side’s favor.
“Actually, we didn’t adjust in training. We just pushed for our recovery and conditioning,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino.
“Our loss [to Cignal] was not a big hit to our morale. We just reminded our players to keep working hard and stick to the system as there is always time to bounce back. We moved on and then prepared for Choco Mucho.”
Stand-in Choco Mucho starter Caitlyn Viray topscored for the second straight game with 12 points, while Denden Lazaro-Revilla hustled her way to 18 excellent digs. However, the Flying Titans still dropped their third straight game for a 1-3 record.
Meawhile, the PLDT High Speed Hitters bucked a slow start as they outplayed the Army Black Mamba Lady Troopers in four sets, 17-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-18, to take a share of second place with a 3-1 record.
Rhea Dimaculangan tallied 20 excellent sets, and helped four PLDT players breach double-digit scoring, led by 17 points and 20 excellent digs from the resurgent Jules Samonte.
Fiola Ceballos and Dell Palomata scored 13 and 12, respectively, while Mika Reyes followed her 8-block eruption with another game-high 3 rejections for a 9-point total.
Jovelyn Gonzaga paced the Army anew with 11 points and 20 excellent digs, while veteran Joanne Bunag scored 10 with 9 attacks and 1 block.
PLDT can formally book their semifinal spot with a win over reeling Choco Mucho on Thursday, July 28, 2:30 pm, while Creamline can punch their semis ticket at 5:30 pm that same day against the Chery Tiggo Crossovers.
Meanwhile, Army Black Mamba now aims for a bounce-back effort on Tuesday, July 26, 2:30 pm, also against Chery Tiggo. – Rappler.com