Cool Smashers seek top ranking in battle with Chargers

Jema Galanza Creamline PVL

Jema Galanza. –PVL PHOTO

Powerhouse defending champion Creamline battles a formidable foe for the last time in a bid to sweep the elimination round of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference, battling an Akari team that has nothing but pride to fight for.

With a nine-game winning streak, the Cool Smashers have opted to stay on their toes and keep sharp form heading into the semifinals, with Jema Galanza, the Best Player of the Game in their last victory, saying that they are still turning in the hours to achieve perfection.

Game time is 4 p.m. at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City and a win would move the Cool Smashers within another victory of a sweep. They face winless Galeries on Tuesday.

“The semifinals is getting nearer, that’s why we need to achieve perfection,” said Galanza, who turned 27 on Tuesday.

Winning over the also-ran Chargers would give Creamline the No. 1 ranking in the playoffs even as PLDT tries to fan its wafer-thin hopes of advancing when it battles F2 Logistics in the nightcap at 6 p.m.

One slot left

The first three slots in the final four have been filled with Choco Mucho, which has also gone unbeaten since losing to Creamline on opening day, and Chery Tiggo is already assured of advancing.

PLDT is a far sixth at 5-4 and would need Cignal and Petro Gazz to take unlikely tumbles in their last games to forge a playoff for No. 4.

But Cignal, which is at 7-3, battles troubled Gerflor on Tuesday and is expected to win with ease.

Galanza, Tots Carlos and Michele Gumabao banner the prolific Creamline offense as Akari will have to dig really deep if it is to foil the Cool Chargers, who have not shown signs of slowing down even after losing Jia de Guzman and Ced Domingo to leagues overseas.

Meanwhile, Galeries and Gerflor, rookie squads yet to taste a win, battle in the 2 p.m. opener. —Musong R. Castillo

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