By ADRIAN STEWART CO
The Creamline Cool Smashers moved on the cusp of another shot at the PVL All-Filipino Conference crown after a 25-18, 27-25, 25-22 sweep of the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in Game 1 of the semis at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday night, December 7.
Jessica Galanza came away with 17 points, nine excellent receptions and seven digs to lead the way for the Cool Smashers, while Diana Carlos added 15 points and 12 excellent digs.
Alyssa Valdez, who sat out during Creamline’s previous game to rest, finished with 12 points, while Risa Sato and Jeanette Panaga each scored six points as Creamline took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
After a dominant performance in the first set, the Cool Smashers were tested by the Crossovers in a back-and-forth second set before Valdez delivered timely hits to escape with a 27-25 set win.
The Crossovers tried to stall the Cool Smashers by wresting control at 15-12 in the third frame, but the latter countered with consecutive attacks behind Galanza and Panaga to complete a straight set win.
Eya Laure was the lone double-digit scorer for the Crossovers with 18 points, while Mylene Paat and Czarina Carandang finished with nine points apiece as they suffered their third straight loss dating back to the elimination round.
Meanwhile, the Cignal HD Spikers battled back from two sets down to defeat the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10, in Game 1 of their best-of-three semis series.
Down 9-10 in the deciding set, the HD Spikers tied the score courtesy of an attack point by Jovelyn Gonzaga before they took an 11-10 advantage courtesy of a connection from Frances Xinia Molina.
The HD Spikers widened the lead further with a drop ball from Marivic Meneses and a service ace by Vanessa Gandler before wrapping up the win with a Choco Mucho error and a block by Molina.
Gonzaga finished with a double-double of 16 attacks and 17 excellent digs to earn the Player of the Game honors for the HD Spikers, which halted the Flying Titans’ 10-game winning run./ASC, WDJ