PVL: Cool Smashers demolish handicapped Lady Warriors to advance in the Finals
Mark Escarlote on Jul 06, 2018 03:31 PM
Creamline breaks into the Finals after dethroning Pocari Sweat-Air Force.
Crowd favorite Creamline exploited the advantage of playing against a handicapped Pocari Sweat-Air Force to cruise to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-16 win to advance to its first Finals gig and dethrone the defending champions Friday.
The Cool Smashers demolished the Lady Warriors sans top local scorer Myla Pablo to complete a best-of-three semifinals series come-from-behind victory and book their breakthrough championship stint after back-to-back bronze medal finishes last season.
Alyssa Valdez was sharp as always to pace Creamline in the crucial match as the popular star advanced to her first Finals stint since a runne rup finish in the now-defunct V-League back in 2016, while playing for Bureau of Customs in the Reinforced Conference.
Valdez had 15 points with 14 digs while Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin finished with 15 markers for Creamline, which outgunned the Lady Warriors, 45-25, in kills. Risa Sato had 10 points, Michele Gumabao scored eight while setter Jia Morado tallied 29 excellent sets for Creamline.
The Cool Smashers will meet in the best-of-three Finals starting on Sunday at the MOA Arena the survivor between BanKo and PayMaya in the other semis pairing.
Creamline broke a 14-14 deadlock in the third set with eight unanswered points for a 22-14 lead before closing the match with a 3-2 scoring spurt.
Pocari Sweat played without Pablo, who suffered a lower back injury during the warmups minutes before the start of the series decider, and marched into battle with American imports Ari Love and Maddi Palmer recovering from bum stomachs.
Pocari Sweat missed the Finals for the first time in three years since it joined the V-League in 2016.
Love posted 11 points while Palmer got nine points for the Lady Warriors, who will take on the loser between BanKo and PayMaya in the battle for third on Sunday.
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