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Crossovers occupy first semis seat

Games Saturday:

(Sta. Rosa Sports Complex)

2:30 p.m. –- Cignal vs Choco Mucho

5:30 p.m. –- F2 Logistics vs Petro Gazz

 

Unbeaten Chery Tiggo occupied a spot in the semifinals after copping its fifth straight win in a 22-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-18, 15-12, escape over winless Army in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday.

The Crossovers banked on crucial scoring spurts in the fifth set to create enough separation to stave off the comeback attempt of the Lady Troopers to keep a tight hold of the solo lead.

“We started really slow but we tried to boost the morale of our players to just keep on playing although we had a bad start. At least in the end we were able to address the lapses we committed,” Chery Tiggo head coach Clarence Esteban said.

Mylene Paat led Chery Tiggo’s offense with 24 points built on 21 kills including the game-clinching hit to close the two-hour, 31-minute match.

Montenegrin import Jelena Cvijovic got 19 markers and was again active on floor defense with 19 excellent receptions for the Crossovers, who will have a week’s rest before their marquee match against another undefeated team Creamline on 5 November.

Cza Carandang added 15 points, EJ Laure had nine markers while Roselle Baliton accounted for five of Chery Tiggo’s 11 kill blocks to finish with eight points.

“It was a tough game. Army played very good defense and good service, so we really had to put a lot of effort at the end for us to win,” Cvijovic said.

Chery Tiggo scored six unanswered points after falling to a 0-2 hole in the fifth set. Army cut its deficit to 6-7 before Paat scored on a down the line hit followed by back-to-back kill blocks by Carandang to spark a 7-3 that put the Crossovers at match point.

The Lady Troopers saved three match points before Paat stopped Army in its tracks with a powerful hit that went off the hands of Canadian import Laura Condotta.

Army absorbed its fourth straight loss in as many outings and is now on the brink of getting eliminated in the race for the remaining Final Four seats.

Royse Tubino scored 24 points with the last of her 23 kills pushing the Lady Troopers to within two, 12-14, in the fifth set.

Condotta dropped 21 markers with 16 digs and 12 excellent receptions in a losing effort, Jovelyn Gonzaga had 14 and Jeanette Villareal scored 11 for Army, which gave away 28 free points to Chery Tiggo of its errors.

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