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KWT reaches PVL final PLDT relegated to fight for third vs Cignal

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
KWT reaches PVL final PLDT relegated to fight for third vs Cignal
Beatriz Flavio de Carvalho of King Whale of Taipei goes for kill versus Risa Sato and Tots Carlos of Creamline.
RUSSELL PALMA

MANILA, Philippines — King Whale of Taipei took advantage of Creamline’s decision to experiment and go deep into its roster, and eked out a 25-15, 17-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-5 victory yesterday to claim the last spot in the gold-medal match of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Power-spiking Brazilian Beatriz Flavio de Carvalho unleashed a match-high 24-point effort she laced with 19 spikes and two blocks while Chen Li-Jun quietly but effectively worked on a 17-hit game including 16 on kills as the Taiwanese Club sealed their third straight win.

It catapulted KWT straight to the one-game finale versus the reigning Open Conference champions tomorrow at the MOA Arena.

“If we do our best against Creamline, we’ll win. And we did just that,” said Chen through an interpreter.

PLDT, which was hoping KWT to drop its last two games to make the finals, will instead battle sister team Cignal for third place.

KWT is expected to rest their players and go deep into its rotation as it tackles Cignal in a non-bearing duel today in San Juan.

With their own final entry, the Cool Smashers also earned the right to represent the country in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup that the country will host late this month at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Assured of the final even before the match, Creamline shuffled all its players except Jema Galanza, who was allowed a welcome rest.

Leading MVP candidate Tots Carlos paced the squad with 15 points.

Needless to say, the Cool Smashers tried to stand their ground but dropped the fifth and deciding set against the determined Taiwanese side.

There were some anxious moments late in the third set when Creamline captain Alyssa Valdez landed awkwardly and hurt her left ankle.

She was quickly rushed to the locker room where the tweaked ankle was checked, and she came out fine.

While she went back to the court, Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses opted not to send her back anymore for precautions.

KING WHALE

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