PVL: Chery Tiggo Crossovers make their point, ride into semis
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PVL: Chery Tiggo Crossovers make their point, ride into semis

Cherry Tiggo Crossovers' Alina Bicar PVL

Cherry Tiggo Crossovers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Chery Tiggo made a point clear in the fourth set: It was going to the semifinals.

And that point also completed PVL All-Filipino Conference Final Four cast, even if the Crossovers had to take the long route to get there.

Down after three sets to a surprisingly stubborn Galeries Tower, Chery Tiggo struck back hard in the fourth set to gain access to the semifinals then dominated the deciding set for a 26-24, 23-25, 19-25, 25-12, 15-9 victory on Thursday at PhilSports Arena.

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SCHEDULE: PVL All-Filipino Conference semifinals 2024

Earning two more points with its ninth win in 11 games, Chery Tiggo caught idling leader Choco Mucho on top. The Flying Titans, however, have 26 points to stay at No. 1 while the Crossovers baked 25 points into their record.

Teams get three points if they win by straight sets or after four sets. Two points are awarded to the winners of five-setters, with losers getting a point.

“We can only thank the Lord because it was anybody’s game,” said coach KungFu Reyes. “We were the ones who had to play catch-up. In the end, our adjustment clicked. Luckily, there were those who stepped up.”

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“We gave Galeries the respect it deserved. We prepared for this game.”

READ: PVL: Aby Maraño determined to give back to ‘very committed’ Chery Tiggo

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“It was actually a challenge that we had to overcome together because there were games when it felt like we were not there. But we have to be there, present and [we have to] fight,” Crossovers captain Aby Maraño said.

The final seedings will still depend on the remaining games of the preliminaries but the moment the Crossovers took the fourth set, PLDT was toast.

Not enough

Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference

Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The High Speed Hitters, which entered Thursday’s game against the Cool Smashers with 20 points, needed a four-set victory by the Highrisers to keep their flickering hopes alive. Even if PLDT sweeps Creamline, the most it can reach is 23 points, still not enough to overtake Creamline.

But the Crossovers nearly handed the High Speed Hitters their chance on a silver platter, committing 36 errors.

“We didn’t have a good performance. We’re not satisfied with how we played today but still at the end of the day, we’re grateful that we overcame that challenge,” Maraño said. “This game humbled us.”

“We lessened our errors in the fourth and fifth sets,” Reyes added.

PVL: Chery Tiggo stays on right path to semis

Eya Laure anchored Chery Tiggo from both ends of the court with 20 points coming from 15 attacks and five of the Crossovers’ 13 blocks. Laure’s performance also featured 11 excellent digs and 18 excellent receptions.

The teams start from scratch anew in the round-robin semifinals. The top two teams then advance to the championship.

“When it comes to the semis, the competitiveness is automatically higher,” Reyes said. “Every team definitely wants to win but the healthiest team will have the higher chance. We don’t have major or minor injuries.

“We have a good chance in the semifinals because we are complete.”

The Crossovers also got contributions from Ara Galang (13 points) and Mylene Paat (9).

“I kept telling my teammates to take this as a challenge, keep the mental toughness; we needed to keep the fight there and at the same time, we needed to make sure we didn’t lose our trust in each other,” Maraño said.

Libero Jennifer Nierva provided her defense with 11 excellent digs like Laure, who also had 18 excellent receptions.

The Highrisers ended with a 3-8 record.

France Ronquillo led Galleries with 15 points, Andrea Marzan added 11 while Norielle Ipac chipped in 10.

The elimination round ends on Saturday, with Petro Gazz battling Nxled. That game is slated at 4 p.m., in between matches by squads already out of the running.

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Cignal opens the playdate against Capital1 at 2 p.m. with Akari and Strong Group capping the tripleheader at 6 p.m.

TAGS: Chery Tiggo, Galeries Tower, PVL

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