It’s KingWhale vs Creamline for PVL Invitational crown
KingWhale came through with a five-set victory on Friday that gave the Taiwanese club a berth in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference final, where it will face the team it just defeated.
The guests turned the deciding fifth set into a show of their superiority, eclipsing the Creamline Cool Smashers, 25-15, 17-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-5, at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Creamline certainly gave KingWhale the a huge fight but lost a lot of firepower—and fifth-set steam—to absorb its first loss in the semifinal round. The Cool Smashers, already without Jeanette Panaga and Jema Galanza, saw star Alyssa Valdez sprain her ankle in the third set.
Creamline was only limited to two attack points in the fifth set as its three points came from Taipei’s errors. But KingWhale coach Teng Yen-Min still praised the top local team after its bench players pushed them to their limits.
“Creamline is a great team in the Philippines. We had a two-day break to do our efforts in two days. Against PLDT and Creamline in the fifth set, we felt they had great teamwork,” said Teng shortly after the match.
Rose Vargas and Michele Gumabao came out strong and applied the finishing touches in the fourth set to force a decider.
However, KingWhale regained its dominant form there with Chang Chih-Hsuan scoring four of her 14 points in the fifth set to build a formidable 12-4 lead. Chen Li-Jun also nailed the timely hits to forge a winner-take-all Final against the Cool Smashers on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Cool Smashers, the best local PVL team, have thus earned the right to represent the country in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup.
But at press time, there has been no word yet from league officials if the Cool Smashers are a go for the tournament. A high-ranking team official said they are still meeting and weighing if they will participate in the AVC Cup.
Bea Carvalho led KingWhale with 24 points off 19 kills, three aces, and two blocks.