Creamline regained control in the third frame then parlayed PayMaya’s erratic stint in the fourth into a runaway triumph to complete a 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19 victory and edge closer to a dream Premier Volleyball League crown before a huge Sunday crowd at the MOA Arena in Pasay last night.
Alyssa Valdez, doing what she does best, anchored Creamline’s big windup, delivering three of her team’s last four points as the top seeded Cool Smashers cut the High Flyers down to size to close in on the coveted Reinforced Conference crown after two third place finishers in the league’s inaugural staging last year.
They go for the clincher in Game Two of their best-of-three title series on Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena.
The Cool Smashers, who cashed in on Myla Pablo’s absence due to injury in their sudden death semis duel last Friday to advance to the title playoff, banked on their superb net defense in the opening s, coming through with seven blocks, but yielded the next in the face of the High Flyers’ big bounce back.
Creamline, however, regrouped and wrested control in the third then pounced on a series of PayMaya miscues in the fourth, including attack errors, net violations and four touches, to fashion out the four-set romp.
Valdez finished with 18 hits while Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin topscored with 19 points and Michelle Gumabao backed them up with eight markers.
Earlier, Pocari-Air Force bucked the absence of local ace Myla Pablo and turned back BanKo-Perlas, 25-22, 17-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-11, to zero in on third place honors in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
Maddie Palmer unloaded 22 attack points, the last three giving the Lady Warriors a 12-9 cushion in the fifth before Arie Love took over with back-to-back hits and Elaine Kasilag finished off the rallying Perlas Spikers with a dump at the start of their best-of-three series for third in the season-opening conference.