CREAMLINE DOWNS DEFENDING CHAMPS CHERY TIGGO TO BOOK SEMIS TICKET
Creamline finally settled the score over Chery Tiggo with a four-set victory, 25-18, 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Creamline Cool Smashers showcased a strong net defense to dethrone the Chery Tiggo Crossovers that inflicted them a heartbreak last season.
Tots Carlos provided the fire in a balanced attack with 17 points off 16 attacks plus 16 excellent digs while Jema Galanza added 16 points off 14 attacks plus nine excellent digs to overcome a gutsy Chery Tiggo that rallied a third-set fightback to extend the series.
“Expected naman namin na hindi ganun kadali yung game kasi siyempre defending champions sila. Ready din kami dun sa comeback nila sa third set so naka-recover naman kami agad,” Cool Smashers assistant coach Sherwin Meneses said.
Chery Tiggo put up a late surge in the third salvo that saw the squad climb to a 20-23 to extend the match to four sets, courtesy of the bench combo of Joy Dacoron and EJ Laure that ignited a 5-0 run to steal the frame.
Tied at 16-all in the fourth frame, the Cool Smashers racked a 3-0 burst for the 21-17 lead capped off by Alyssa Valdez and Pangs Panaga delivering clutch back-to-back hits.
EJ Laure trimmed the lead to three, but Rachel Austero’s service went long in the next play which put Creamline’s lead back to four.
Carlos then took over, nailing back-to-back hits to put the squad at match point before Panaga delivered the game-winning running spike that ended Chery Tiggo’s title reign.
Panaga unleashed a game-high 15 markers on 11 attacks, three blocks and an ace while Alyssa Valdez finished with 11 points.
On the other hand, Mylene Paat spearheaded the defending champions with 11 points while Laure and Dacoron added nine points and four points, respectively, in just the last two sets.
Creamline will face the winner of the Choco Mucho-PLDT match in the semis on Friday at 6:00 PM while Chery Tiggo will head to the classification face on Sunday.