By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Creamline Cool Smashers are on the verge of another Premier Volleyball League (PVL) grand finals after sweeping the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22, in the ongoing Invitational Conference semifinals.
After taking down the PLDT High-Speed Hitters in five grueling sets and the Army-Black Mamba in their semifinal opener, the Cool Smashers continued its undefeated run and solidified its bid for a back-to-back PVL crown.
Tots Carlos once again led the Cool Smashers’ offensive onslaught and finished the convincing win with a game-high 21 points built from 18 successful attacks, two blocks, and an ace.
The HD Spikers couldn’t stop the surging Carlos who was having a good time scoring spikes against their middle blockers that helped Creamline establish the early momentum.
Aside from Carlos’ individual prowess, the Cool Smashers also banked on their balanced attack led by Jema Galanza who chipped in 11 points while superstar Alyssa Valdez had seven points and 16 excellent receptions.
Jia Morado-De Guzman also continued her fine play orchestrating the Creamline offense and dished out 26 excellent sets and tallied three points in the win.
The HD Spikers’ only hope of clinching a set against Creamline came in the third and final set when they dragged the defending champions into a nip-and-tuck affair but the Cool Smashers responded with a late run spearheaded by the duo of Carlos and Galanza.
Veteran spiker Ces Molina tried to lift Cignal’s spirits after uncorking a personal run in the third set but wasn’t enough to spark a comeback.
With the win, the Cool Smashers only need to outduel Taipei in their next match and will automatically qualify for the grand finale of the Invitational Conference.
“Excited kami na makalaro yung Taipei. Yun muna yung naging goal namin para makapag-prepare kami ng maganda kasi sa Friday pa yung game so basta maglalaro kami nang maganda para maganda yung laban,” said Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses.