Creamline’s Grand Slam train kept chugging along, and the Cool Smashers made this one look easy despite Petro Gazz’s dogged stand.
Their fully-loaded offensive armada blasting away with impunity, the Cool Smashers on Thursday scored a 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 ripping of the Angels in an effort that clearly showed their capability to go all the way in the Premiere Volleyball League Reinforced Conference and complete a Triple Crown collection.
But if there’s anyone who refuses to see how good Creamline looked at the start of semifinal hostilities at PhilSports Arena, it’s coach Sherwin Meneses.
“Hopefully, we continue to play better and improve as a team in the next game because there’s still a long way to go with two more matches [in the semifinals],” said Meneses in Filipino as he looks forward to their clash with Cignal on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The HD Spikers will enter that match on a high note as well, with Tai Bierria putting on her best scoring performance in the tournament in a 28-26, 25-17, 25-23 victory over Chery Tiggo that was far closer than the final score indicated.
Cignal needed to save set points in the opener, break away from an 11-deadlock second set and display steely execution late in the third to open its semifinal stint with a victory.
“Every victory is a blessing. I just need to keep working and keep getting better,” said Bierria, who couldn’t have picked a better time to punch in 21 points, her highest output so far here in the country.
While Meneses also is looking for a better performance from his team going into the crucial tussle against Cignal, that did not mean he wasn’t pleased with the Cool Smashers.
“We’re happy because we finally won in three sets [in the tournament]. We have no problem regardless of how many sets as long as we win and we continue improving,” he said. “But winning in three sets is a huge boost for us because getting three points is important since it will be needed in case there will be a tie just like what happened in the eliminations.”
Import Yeliz Basa led a balanced Creamline attack with 17 points, and the Cool Smashers, who had three locals finishing in twin digits, sealed it in an hour and 48 seconds despite Lindsey Vander Weide and the veteran Aisa Maizo-Pontillas seemingly trying to do everything to help the Angels avert a shut out.
The road to the Grand Slam seems to have been smoothed a bit, as the only team that beat the Cool Smashers in the classification round, F2, failed to advance.
After the HD Spikers, Creamline will close out the semis against Chery Tiggo, which took a 25-23, 20-25, 25-12, 32-30 loss at the hands of the Cool Smashers last Nov. 5 for the first semifinal berth.
That was also the first loss of the Crossovers in the tournament and it would be safe to say that they are just itching to avenge that.
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