Creamline and Choco Mucho treated a record 19,000 screaming fans at the SM Mall of Asia Arena to an enthralling battle of power, quick hits, and saves with the grand slam-seeking Cool Smashers coming out a 15-25, 25-20, 25-20, 28-26 winner to close out its Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference elims campaign on top of the heap.
Tots Carlos, back in her fierce form coming off back issues, foiled Kat Tolentino’s attack to save a set point for Creamline at 26 in the fourth then the former UP stalwart banged in a kill and Jema Galanza wrapped up the thrilling all-Filipino encounter with an ace, frustrating Choco Mucho’s hordes of fans that came alive when the Flying Titans fought back from 20-24 down to force a tie at 24 on a Bea de Leon quick attack.
Tolentino and Galanza traded kills to extend the match but the Flying Titans, who played without import Odina Aliyeva due to health concerns, looked headed to forcing a fifth set after scoring a point off a Creamline miscue following a collision between Galanza and Jia de Guzman.
But Carlos tied it again with a stinging block off Tolentino and the Cool Smashers won the next two points to finish off the Flying Titans and seal their seventh win against a solitary loss.
Petro Gazz is a cinch to clinch the third semis spot after Creamline and Chery Tiggo, which earlier ousted PLDT, 25-20, 18-25, 22-25, 25-16, 18-16, to finish with a 6-2 mark.
With Aliyeva out, Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses obliged and pulled out Yeliz Basa after scoring four points after two sets, setting the stage for an all-Filipino duel between sister teams.
Choco Mucho earlier stunned Creamline with a dominant first set win but the Cool Smashers re-grouped and took the next two and appeared headed to wrapping it up in four after surging to a 24-20 lead.