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Application of tiebreak takes loser in and leaves winner out of title series as Creamline makes heartbreaking exit

Creamline Cool Smashers. PVL PHOTO

Of all the things that happened in the elimination round of the PVL Reinforced Conference, Chery Tiggo will remember losing this one game that wrote an ending to the biggest storyline of the tournament.

The Crossovers took a 16-25, 25-20, 25-14, 11-25, 9-15 loss at the hands of Creamline Tuesday night, but Chery Tiggo did more than enough to make sure that the Cool Smashers’ Grand Slam party won’t happen after dragging them to five sets at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

That result meant that Petro Gazz will have a chance to repeat, and will get that shot against a Cignal side that it turned back just a couple of hours before, 25-14, 25-21, 25-27, 25-19.

Creamline actually ended up tied with Petro Gazz and Cignal at 2-1 after the single round semifinals, but was booted out of the best-of-three title series because of an inferior quotient.

That means that the immensely popular Cool Smashers won’t be playing to sweep all three jewels of the season, a heartbreak considering how easily they breezed through the eliminations—where they suffered just one defeat—and continued to flaunt that dominant form after the first playing date of the semis.

Doing just enough

Cignal just needed to take the Angels to four sets to make it to the finals after wins over Creamline and Chery Tiggo, and the Cool Smashers needed to win in just four sets to advance.

The Crossovers simply wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, so to speak.

“For sure, we will say thanks to Chery [Tiggo],” said Petro Gazz coach Rald Ricafort in Filipino. He stayed patiently to watch the result of the Creamline match.

“We were celebrating even if we weren’t playing that game,” Ricafort said. “Those teams are our foes, but our season really was dependent on a Petro Gazz win.

“It’s a weird way to make the finals,” he went on. “So we will make sure that we make the best out of this chance.”

It was such a heart-rending way for Creamline to bomb out of the conference, more so since the Cool Smashers still had a chance after going 2-1 up after three sets.

Emotional Alyssa

“It’s kinda weird that even if we won the game, unfortunately, we weren’t able to get into the Finals. But we have to finish it. We have to respect the game, and the whole Creamline team did that,” said Creamline star Alyssa Valdez, who was holding back her tears during the postgame.

“I’m actually proud of the team also. And it’s not over yet. I mean, we’re also given this opportunity also to reflect on ourselves, on our team, and that’s a very good thing for us,” she said as the Cool Smashers will have to content themselves in getting revenge on the Crossovers in the battle for third.

“It’s been a while since it (not making the finals) happened. So we take it as a challenge also,” she added.

The last time Creamline played in a bronze medal match was back in 2017, when Valdez was still playing abroad, while setter Jia de Guzman was leading Ateneo in the UAAP.

Cignal and Petro Gazz will have a week to cool their heels with the title series to start on Tuesday.

Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses took the development with a grain of salt and the loss treated as a motivational tool for the future.

“It’s okay because we still got the win,” Meneses said in Filipino. “Even if we didn’t make it to the finals, we still have more conferences to bounce back.”

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