By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Creamline stayed unbeaten with a five-set win while Balipure pulled off a stunning win over Chery Tiggo in the in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Thursday at the PVC Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Cool Smashers leaned on their vast experience to repulse the upset bid of Black Mamba Army, 20-25, 25-15, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13, and notch their third straight win.
Overshadowed by Creamline’s victory was Balipure’s own marathon 19-25, 25-19, 13-25, 27-25, 15-12 win over the fancied Chery Tiggo – thanks to Grazielle Bombita.
Bombita unloaded 21 kills to finish with 24 points as the Water Defenders clinched their first victory in two starts.
The win also sent Chery Tiggo crashing back to earth after back-to-back triumphs over PLDT and Cignal despite the sister act of Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, who combined for 40 points.
The Cool Smashers, on the other hand, rose from a 9-4 fifth-set deficit with a 9-4 run to grab the 13-12 upperhand before the Lady Troopers tied it at 13-all.
But back-to-back points from Alyssa Valdez sealed the win for Creamline.
“We were so happy na nakahabol. With that emotion, grabe yung ibubuhos mo talaga lahat. Iniisip name is to really just get one point. I think every point counts late in the first set,” said Valdez.
While Valdez fired 20 points, it was Tots Carlos who carried the load throughout by exploding for 26 points built on 24 kills and two blocks.
Risa Sato and Michele Gumabao chipped in 13 and 12 points while Jeanette Panaga delivered in the crucial moments and finished with nine points.
Army absorbed its second loss in three starts despite Jovelyn Gonzaga and Royse Tubino scoring 18 and 14 points.