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Cool Smashers, Angels eye PVL lead as they battle Solar Spikers, Crossovers

CREAMLINE COOL SMASHERS — PVL.PH

Games Thursday(Smart-Araneta Coliseum)4 p.m. — Capital1 Solar vs Creamline6 p.m. — Petro Gazz vs Chery Tiggo

CREAMLINE and Petro Gazz aim to keep their grip of the lead as they battle Capital1 Solar Energy and Chery Tiggo, respectively, Thursday in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In a five-team bind at the helm with Cignal, Choco Mucho and PLDT with identical 4-1 records, the Cool Smashers and Angels sail out to extricate itself out of it and snatch the lead by themselves with the former tackling the Solar Spikers at 4 p.m. and the latter facing off with the Crossovers at 6 p.m.

Capital1 has a 1-4 record while Chery Tiggo has 3-2.

The dynastic franchise, winner of a league record six titles, is still reeling from a shock 25-18, 26-24, to Chery Tiggo Saturday in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the former’s first defeat after 19 straight wins including an amazing 15-game sweep of the AFC in December last year.

Its last loss came on July 30 in the one-game Invitational finals against eventual winner Kurashiki Ablaze.

It was also the Cool Smashers’ first straight set defeat since succumbing to Petro Gazz in the 2019 Reinforced Conference.

And Creamline is expected to come in full force and vent its ire against a Roger Gorayeb-mentored Capital1 side, a team owned by sisters Milka and Mandy Romero that was formed just less than a month before the conference started.

Petro Gazz, in contrast, should ride on the crest of a three-game streak that was capped by a 25-21, 27-25, 25-19 win over a young and gritty Farm Fresh Thursday at the PhilSports Arena.

Brooke Van Sickle should remain Petro Gazz’s main source of strength after going on a 26-point killing spree last game but Jonah Sabete, who had 11 in that win, stressed the importance of teamwork.

“He always tells us not to play individually and teamwork is the number one recipe,” said Ms. Sabete of their Japanese coach Koji Tsuzurabara.

Chery Tiggo, however, should come in oozing with confidence after pulling off one of the biggest, if not the biggest, wins in the conference to date against the heavily favored Creamline. — Joey Villar

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