• Cool Smashers near 3rd; Pablo bags MVP

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    Creamline swooped down on a listless Hair Fairy Air Force side, coming away with a surprisingly easy 25-15, 25-21, 25-19 victory to close in on the bronze medal in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Saturday.

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    Rosemarie Vargas fired eight attack points, two aces and made one block while libero Angela Nunag anchored Creamline’s superb defense with 14 excellent digs as the Cool Smashers vented their ire on the Lady Jet Spikers after falling short in their first finals bid against the BaliPure Water Defenders in sudden death last Wednesday.

    Air Force’s Jocemar Tapic tries to defy the double-block bid of Creamline’s Rosemarie Vargas and Pau Soriano during their battle for third in the PVL Open Conference. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    The Cool Smashers, whose campaign actually suffered after top hitter Alyssa Valdez was picked to join the SEA Games-bound national team, scored on set-up attacks, quick hits and combo plays while pouncing on the erratic Jet Spikers to complete the straight-set romp.

    Meanwhile, Pocari Sweat’s ace Myla Pablo won the coveted Conference MVP honors after leading the Lady Warriors to another crack at the championship in the league organized by Sports Vision. Joining the former National U star, who also took the Finals MVP honors in their title romp in the recent Reinforced Conference and this conference’s 1st Best Outside Spiker plum, at center stage were BaliPure’s Grethcel Soltones (2nd Best Outside Spiker), Pocari’s Jeanette Panaga (1st Best Middle Blocker), BaliPure’s Risa Sato (2nd Best Middle Blocker), Air Force’s Iari Yongco (Best Opposite Hitter), Mel Gohing of Pocari (Best Libero) and Creamline Jia Morado (Best Setter).

    Earlier, Mega Builders pulled off an 18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 25-13 squeaker over Cignal TV to force a sudden death for the men’s crown in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

    Fauzi Ismail unloaded 24 hits while Madzlan Gampong and James Natividad fired 17 points apiece and Kim Malabunga added 10 markers as the Volley Bolt avenged their 23-25, 25-21, 19-25, 17-25 setback in Game One to stay in the hunt for the crown in their maiden PVL stint.

    They dispute the crown at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, also at the Filoil Flying V Center.

    Sta. Elena also hacked out a 27-25, 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 16-14 win over Air Force to send their series for third to a third game.

    Meanwhile, Cignal TV top hitter Lorenzo Capate captured the first PVL men’s Open Conference MVP and led the other top performers in the mid-season conference of the country’s premier volley league.

    Sharing top honors with Capate, who also won the Finals MVP after powering the HD Spikers to the Reinforced Conference crown last June, were Air Force’s Edwin Tolentino (1st Best Outside Spiker), Sta. Elena’s Isaah Arda (2nd Best Outside Spiker), Malabunga (1st Best Middle Blocker), Mega Builders’ Francis Saura (2nd Best Middle Blocker), Sta. Elena’s Berlin Paglinawan (Best Opposite Hitter), Cignal’s Vince Mangulabnan (Best Setter) and Sandy Montero, also of Cignal, (Best Libero).

    Games Wednesday
    10 a.m. – Air Force vs Sta. Elena (men’s for 3rd)
    1 p.m. – Cigna TV vs Mega Builders (men’s for crown)
    4 p.m. – Creamline vs Air Force (women’s for 3rd)
    6:30 p.m. – BaliPure vs Pocari Sweat (women’s for crown)

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