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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Crossovers foil resurgent Defenders, move to joint third

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With an overpowering display of power and skill, Chery Tiggo recovered from a tough four-set setback to Akari the last time out with a 25-8, 25-12, 25-20 victory over Gerflor as it moved to joint third with its tormentor on Tuesday in Week 3 of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference elims at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

The Crossovers’ dominant start and an equally imposing second-set romp anchored on control and precision showcased their resilience and determination to bounce back from their earlier setback in a match they were slightly tipped to hurdle, leaving the Defenders struggling to find an answer to their relentless play.

Gerflor did come up with a riposte in the third frame, even seizing control at 4-3 on a Grace Berte hit and forcing three deadlocks, the last at 14. Though the Crossovers took four of the next five points to sit on a three-point chion, the resurgent Defenders kept coming back, threatening at 20-22 on a Jeanette Villareal blast.

The newcomers had hoped to further pull within but lost a disputed Bien Juanillo block touch hit and Shaya Adorador came through with back-to-back kill blocks to wrap up the 71-minute match for the Crossovers, who came into the Halloween edition of the season-ending tournament organized by Sports Vision in Money Heist suits and spooked the Defenders with their coordination and teamwork.

But while Chery Tiggo coach Aaron Velez praised his wards’ fine showing that hiked their slate to 3-1 (win-loss), he underscored the need for the Crossovers to stay foced all-game long in their succeeding games.

“I think (what happened in the third set) is what we need to point out – that we cannot be complacent,” said Velez. “Despite the good flow, anything can actually change in a blink of an eye or the momentum can shift, so I think we have to be aware of that.”

Chery Tiggo next faces unbeaten Petro Gazz on Nov. 4 at the Philsports Arena.

Eya Laure came away with 12 points, including 11 on attacks, as Velez took the luxury of fielding in all his players with Ces Robles adding nine markers and Imee Hernandez finishing with seven points, both in two-set appearances.

Jasmine Nabor, splitting the playmaking chores with Joyme Cagande while helping anchor the team’s defense upfront, scored six points, including an off-speed backrow hit that made it, 20-16, Cza Carandang made five points and Jaila Atienza, EJ Laure and Pauline Gaston ended up with four markers apiece.

“Everyone really wanted to play and we were able to do what we have been doing in training,” said Eya Laure, who also cited the Crossovers’ serves and receives which enabled them to launch their assaults.

That led to 40 attack points, 19 more than the Defenders, while Nabor produced four blocks and Atienza foiled two attacks, and Hernandez and Robles finished combined for five of Chery Tiggo’s eight aces. Cagande made seven of the team’s 14 excellent sets with libero Jenny Nierva finishing with 11 excellent digs and eight excellent receptions.

Villareal posted six points while Jenny Gaviola came up with five markers and Berte wound up with four points and Juanillo, Menchie Tubiera and Danika Gendrauli each made three points for the Defenders, who joined the Farm Fresh Foxies at the bottom of the record 12-team field with 0-4 cards.

The Foxies, however, were still playing with the defending champions and unbeaten Creamline Cool Smashers at presstime.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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