PVL: Chery Tiggo overcomes Choco Mucho to move closer to semis berth
MANILA, Philippines — EJ Laure and Czarina Carandang put on the finishing touches as Chery Tiggo denied Choco Mucho’s comeback attempt for a 29-27, 18-25, 25-16, 25-20 win inching closer to a semifinals berth in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.
With league’s local top scorer Mylene Paat suffering from cramps early in the fourth set, her teammates carried the load and helped the Crossovers maneuver from a three-point deficit, 13-16. Carandang scored three of their six straight points for a 19-16 advantage before Laure stretched it to a four-point edge with back-to-back attacks, 22-18.
Choco Mucho import Odina Aliyeva trimmed it down to three, 23-20 but Dindin Santiago-Manabat pushed Chery Tiggo at match point followed by Roselle Baliton’s big block on Aliyeva to seal their fourth straight win after a two-hour and 14-minute match.
Carandang, who finished with nine points, said Paat motivated them to close out the game in the fourth that helped them move on the cusp of returning to the PVL semis after back-to-back eighth-place finishes in the last two conferences.
“Ate My told us to hold on because a volleyball set won’t end with a score of 16. Let’s claim it. She kept reminding us to claim it,” said the middle blocker in Filipino.
Paat, who played through pain, led the charge for the Crossovers with 25 points off 21 attacks, two blocks, and two aces. Laure chipped in 15 points built on 10 kills, three aces, and two blocks, while import Jelena Cvijovic added 10 markers and sustained her stellar defense with 21 excellent receptions and eight digs.
“We had a good start but in the middle of the match, we lost steam as Choco Mucho found its rhythm. But my team never lost its composure. They held on until the end. They really wanted to get this win,” said Chery Tiggo coach Clarence Esteban in Filipino his team overcame 29 errors.
On Thursday, Chery Tiggo tries to clinch a semis berth against United Auctioneers Inc.-Army.
Aliyeva carried Choco Mucho with 21 points, 11 receptions, and 10 digs, while Kat Tolentino added 15 points as their two-game win streak was ended.
The Flying Titans try to regain their winning ways against the Cignal HD Spikers on Saturday at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex.