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Creamline eyes semifinals berth against dangerous PLDT High Speed Hitters


Games Today(PhilSports Arena)4 p.m. — PLDT vs Creamline6:30 p.m. — F2 Logistics vs Choco Mucho

EXCEPT for one forgettable endgame collapse that slowed it down, Creamline has so far lived up to expectations that it will make the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals first.

But the Cool Smashers would have to hurdle the dangerous PLDT High Speed Hitters today (March 7) at the PhilSports Arena in what could be a sneak preview of this conference’s finals if they want to get that distinction as the first semifinalists.

The titanic duel between Creamline and PLDT, currently the league’s top two squads with a 5-1 and 4-1 record, respectively, is set at 4 p.m. and a win by the former would propel it straight to the single-round robin phase.

If PLDT prevails, it will move a step closer to the semis.

And Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses knows they’re in for possibly one of the toughest games to date since their fifth-set implosion in a heartbreaking 23-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-23, 16-14 defeat to F2 Logistics last Feb. 18 also at the Pasig venue.

“We expect a tough game,” said Mr. Meneses.

But the Cool Smashers looked recharged more than two weeks after their F2 debacle and played just one game since then — a walk-in-the-park 25-12, 25-20, 25-12 demolition of the Army Black Mamba Lady Troopers last Feb. 28.

Jema Galanza, who was under the weather and sat out last game, is expected to be back.

PLDT, for its part, has been on a tear as it has strung together four straight wins, including a 25-14, 21-25, 25-12, 25-15 triumph over Akari a week back, since dropping a five-setter to F2, 25-22, 25-21, 14-25, 20-25, 16-14, exactly a month ago.

One of the biggest reasons PLDT is on the rise has been Michelle Morente, an acquisition from Army this season who is playing possibly the best volleyball of her life.

In their last outing, the energetic Ms. Morente dropped a team-high 14 points.

Also seeking to boost their semis stocks are F2 Logistics (4-2) and Choco Mucho (2-3), which battle each other at 6:30 p.m. — Joey Villar

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