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Chery knocks on F4 door

Chery Tiggo inched closer to securing a semifinals seat on Tuesday as Mylene Paat came up with another offensive explosion for a 29-27, 18-25, 25-16, 25-20 win over Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena.

Paat also got solid backup from EJ Laure and Carina Carandang as the Crossovers snatched their fourth straight victory and take the solo lead.

“We had a great start but we struggled midway in the match and Choco Mucho found their rhythm,” Chery Tiggo coach Clarence Esteban said as the squad looks poised to enter the Final Four after missing the playoffs in the season-ending Open Conference and Invitational Conference.

“Good thing the players kept their composure. They held on until the end and they really wanted this win,” he added.

Carandang scored three straight points in the Crossovers’ 6-0 burst that pulled them out of a 13-16 deficit in the fourth set.

The Flying Titans answered with back-to-back points only to allow Chery Tiggo to counter with three points capped by consecutive back-to-back aces by Laure.

Dindin Santiago-Manabat pushed the Crossovers at match point before Roselle Baliton sealed the win with an emphatic kill block on Choco Mucho’s Uzbek-Azerbaijani import Odina Aliyeva that snapped the Flying Titans’ two-game winning run.

“Ate My (Paat) told us not to give up. The game will not end at 16. We just have to hold on and claim the win,” Carandang, who scored nine points, said.

Paat, who played through leg cramps she suffered early in the fourth set, submitted monster numbers with 25 points to lead the Crossovers, who rained down 59 attack points and 11 kill blocks. The national team mainstay hammered away with 21 attacks and had two kill blocks and a pair of aces.

Laure finished with 15 points while Montenegrin import Jelene Cvijovic got 10 markers, 21 excellent receptions and eight digs for the Crossovers.

Chery Tiggo can secure a spot in the semis on Thursday against winless Army.

Aliyeva scored 21 points built on 19 kills and had 11 excellent receptions and 10 digs while Kat Tolentino posted 15 points for Choco Mucho, which dropped to 2-2 slate.

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