PVL: Young Chery Tiggo side fights to live another day vs favored Creamline
MANILA, Philippines — The Chery Tiggo Crossovers will fight for their lives as they avoid elimination against defending champion Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference semifinals.
Down 0-1 against a more experienced squad, coach KungFu Reyes reminded his players that the series is not yet over despite a three-set loss in Game 1 on Thursday.
“We told them that we cannot give up until it’s over,” said Reyes, who came off a lengthy talk with his team after their 18-25, 25-27, 22-25 loss.
Against the league’s most successful team in the league, composed of seasoned and decorated players, the Crossovers blew a crucial 24-22 lead in the second set as Alyssa Valdez delivered in the clutch for the Cool Smashers.
“They are the defending champions. Aside from their talented players, they have the maturity and leadership. So what we have to do is to keep trying to overachieve,” the veteran coach said. “Hopefully, next game, we will be able to overcome [our mistakes] and close out in the end game. When we reach the score of 20, we tend to stop.”
Eya Laure was the lone bright spot for the Crossovers with a game-high 18 points and Reyes hopes their prized rookie will get some help from veterans Mylene Paat, Shaya Adorador, EJ Laure, Cza Carandang, Pauline Gaston, and setter Jasmine Nabor in Game 2 on Saturday.
“If you will look at the stats, our youngest player was the one who delivered. Hopefully, we will be able to translate the performance of our rookies and our senior players will bring back their high-level game because when it comes to the end game, maturity is key,” Reyes rued.
Chery Tiggo returned to the semis after failing to get past the elimination round in the first two conferences this 2023 but Reyes admitted that their rookies including Jennifer Nierva and Cess Robles are still getting used to the Final Four in the pros.
“It’s possible that they were overwhelmed because, for the longest time in All-Filipino, we missed the semis,” said Reyes. “Learning is part of the process that we have to bring what we learned from this first game of the semis, heading to Game 2. The fight is not over.”