Alyssa’s Cool Smashers back on top
Creamline outlasted defending champion Pocari-Air Force, 25-15, 27-25, 17-25, 25-19, to regain a share of the lead in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 2 Reinforced Conference at Batangas City Sports Center.
The Cool Smashers shook off a third-set defeat and a slow start in the fourth with a strong windup with Risa Sato and Alyssa Valdez combining for all but one of the team’s last five points to the delight of the big Sunday crowd.
Creamline climbed to a share of top spot with idle PayMaya at 3-1.
Sato scored on a quick attack and a kill block off Pocari import Arielle Love while Valdez, who hails from nearby San Juan town, fired a couple of aces as Creamline broke away from a tight 19-18 game.
Import Nikolina Asceric topscored for Creamline with 13 hits, including 10 attack points, two blocks and an ace, helping send the Lady Warriors reeling to their second loss against a win.
Earlier, PetroGazz showed grit and composure as the Angels ended a three-game losing streak by rallying past BanKo-Perlas, 15-25, 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-9, for their first win.
Ukranian import Anastasia Trach came alive in the last three sets, including back to back scores off blocks in the fifth set as the Angels completed their stunning fightback.
The win ended a string of heatbreaking results for the Angels, who opened the tournament with defeats to Creamline, Tacloban and BaliPure.
Thai Jutarat Montripila gave the Angels all that they could handle, before the Spikers faded in the fifth set and absorbed their third loss in four starts.
Trach delivered a kill and two blocks for a 4-0 lead in the fifth, allowing the Angels to survive the absence of injured hitter Rachel Austero.
The Spikers came within 6-8 only for Trach to quell the comeback, scoring the last of her 23 hits at match point.
Stephanie Mercado, Cherry Nunag and Wensh Tiu also stepped up for PetroGazz. —CEDELF P. TUPAS
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