Galanza shines as C Smashers repel Oragons

Galanza shines as C Smashers repel Oragons

Alyssa Valdez of Creamline scores on a powerful spike over Hezzymie Acuña of Navy-Iriga during their PVL Reinforced Conference match yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan. Joey Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines — Creamline rallied in the second set then toughened up to thwart a fiery Iriga-Navy fightback in the third for a 25-21, 26-24, 25-23 victory as it formalized its claim on the first outright semifinal berth in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

Jema Galanza emerged from the shadows of her most illustrious teammates, blasting in 11 attack points and two blocks for a 14-hit output as the Cool Smashers closed out their elims campaign with a fifth straight win for a 6-1 card.

Alyssa Valdez still paced Creamline with 19 hits while Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin added 12 points. But Galanza has proved her worth in a star-studded roster, further firming up the Cool Smashers’ title drive in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

In contrast, the Lady Oragons absorbed their sixth straight defeat after an opening game victory over the BaliPure Water Defenders to finish at No. 8. They will take on the No. 3 squad in the quarters, which starts Saturday.

Tacloban currently occupies third place with a 4-3 slate but BaliPure, which beat Tacloban in four last May 19, could snare it with a victory over PayMaya at presstime.

Imports Macy Ubben and Lauren Whyte combined for 32 hits while Cyndy Imbo chipped in six points and Janet Serafica, Divine Eguia and Hezzymie Acuña scored four hits apiece for the Oragons.

Cignal HD and Vice Co. turned back their respective rivals in a pair of thrilling five-setters to secure the outright semis seats in men’s play of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

Japan-bound Marck Espejo sizzled anew with 28 points to power the HD Spikers to a 25-16, 22-25, 25-18, 24-26, 15-10, win over the Army Troopers while the Blockbusters outsteadied the Air Force Jet Spikers, 25-19, 32-34, 19-25, 30-28, 16-14.

Cignal and Vice Co. closed the single round elims with identical 4-1 (win-loss) cards but the HD Spikers took the No. 1 spot on a superior tiebreak.