PLDT survived a gallant stand put up by an undermanned Cignal and fashioned out a 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22 victory Saturday to claim a semifinal spot in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

Photo from PVL

The HD Spikers drew strength from Mika Reyes and Fiona Ceballos, who uncorked 14 and 13 points, respectively, to seal their place in the next round with a 4-2 mark.

PLDT will accompany Cignal, who wound up with an identical 4-2 slate, in the semis along with Creamline and foreign teams Kobe Shinwa of Japan and King Whales of Chinese Taipei.

Cignal played with just eight players in Gel Cayuna, Riri Meneses, Jheck Dionela, Jacquieline Acuna, Klarisa Abriam, Angeli Araneta, Bia General and Maris Layug.

Out were team captain Rachel Ann Daquis, Rose Doria, Ayel Estranero, Chai Troncoso and Jerrili Malabanan for reasons the team did not reveal.

Ces Molina was in the venue but did not see action due to an ankle she tweaked in their last match.

Meanwhile, Alyssa Valdez went on a 15-point juggernaut as Creamline overpowered Army Black Mamba, 25-20, 25-22, 25-16, to cap its successful elimination round campaign.

It was the first time that Valdez, a many-time league MVP, led her team in scoring after some early struggles and she capped her strong scoring effort by chipping in 11 digs.

Tots Carlos, a leading MVP candidate, scattered 13 while Jema Galanza added 11 hits of her own as the Cool Smashers closed out the elims with a 5-1 record.

Creamline was already assured of a spot in the semis alongside Cignal and foreign squads Kobe Shinwa of Japan and King Whales of Taipei.

The Lady Troopers, in contrast, absorbed their third defeat against the same number of wins and awaiting their semis fate.

Source: Manila Bulletin (