National

Cool Smashers move within a win of sweep

Cool Smashers move within a win of sweep

Creamline overhauled a huge deficit in the second set and went on to crush BanKo-Perlas, 25-22, 27-25, 25-14, Sunday to move a win away of a rare elimination round sweep of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Perlas Spikers looked headed to squaring the match with a 16-9 lead in the second set, only to crumble in the face of a relentless effort by Creamline.

Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Pau Soriano, Rose Vargas and Kyle Negrito took care of business and steered the Cool Smashers to a big comeback before totally outclassing the Perlas Spikers in the third.

Starting out strong in the third, the Cool Smashers raced to a 4-1 lead and sat on a 13-8 cushion on a Negrito hit before cruising to victory and a repeat of their four-set triumph during their Aug. 21 first round clash.

The victory was Creamline’s 15th straight and third without top spiker Alyssa Valdez and ace playmaker Jia Morado, who are with the national team in Japan as part of the squad’s buildup for next month’s Southeast Asian Games.

PetroGazz, on the other hand, is zeroing in on the second seeding at press time against also-ran BaliPure, which it swept in the first round last Aug. 18. A win would give the Angels an 11-4 heading to the final elimination round playdate on Wednesday where they will take on another ousted squad the Choco Mucho Flying Titans.

BanKo-Perlas remained in third, but its final 10-6 record gave idle Motolite (10-5) a chance to grab No. 3 and avoid facing powerhouse Creamline in the Final Four starting Sunday.

Without Valdez and Morado, Gumabao, Galanza, Negrito and company proved up to task, although the defending champions needed to rebound from a so-so start in the second frame that enabled the Perlas Spikers to storm ahead by seven.

Meanwhile, Air Force denied Chef’s Classic a graceful exit as it fashioned out a 25-15, 25-17, 25-20 victory late Saturday to keep the Red Spikers winless in 16 games.

Mae Cabalsa top-scored with 12 hits, including five killblocks to underscore Air Force’s domination at the net. The Jet Spikers also turned the Red Spikers’ miscues to 33 points.