Creamline showed no signs of slowing down, bundling out PacificTown-Army from the semis race with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-22 victory on Wednesday that moved the defending champions two games from sweeping the elims of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Top hitter Alyssa Valdez sat out for the second straight game but the Cool Smashers still proved too hot, too strong for the Lady Troopers, who tried to stop the former in the third — to no avail.
Creamline, which secured the top seeding in the Final Four with a repeat victory over Reinforced Conference title tormentor PetroGazz in Bacolod last Sunday, thus stretched its win run to 14. The Cool Smashers go for a rare sweep of the double-round elims against the BanKo-Perlas Spikers on Sunday and versus the Motolite side on Oct. 23.
The Lady Troopers, meanwhile, bowed out of at least a playoff for the fourth and last semis berth with a 6-8 slate. Even if Army sweeps its last two games against Motolite and Air Force, it won’t reach the required number of wins at nine to force a playoff.
The powerhouse Cool Smashers hardly felt the absence of three-time MVP Valdez, who actually came into the match ready to play but still didn’t see action as Risa Sato, Jema Galanza and Rosemarie Vargas took charge of their attack to power the team to their repeat sweep of Army last Sept. 4.
Sato came away with 12 hits, including three kill blocks, Galanza banged in 11 points while Vargas delivered 10 markers and 15 excellent receptions as Creamline dominated the first two sets before relaxing a bit in the third.
That enabled the veteran-laden Troopers to keep the set close but just had no answer for every Creamline attack and a counter for every Cool Smashers’ charge.
Royse Tubino scored 13 points but MJ Balse-Pabayo and Jovelyn Gonzaga failed to dish out games expected of them as they finished with just seven points apiece.