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Chery Tiggo risks clean slate

Games Tuesday:

(Philsports Arena)

4 p.m. — Army vs Akari

6:30 p.m. — PLDT vs Chery Tiggo

Chery Tiggo puts its unbeaten slate on the line when it battles dangerous PLDT in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Game time is set at 6:30 p.m. following the 4 p.m. battle between winless teams Akari and Army.

Chery Tiggo sports a 3-0 win-loss record with top contender F2 Logistics as its latest victim, 25-19, 25-14, 25-16. The Crossovers are ahead of the Cargo Movers and defending champion Creamline Cool Smashers, who are in a two-way logjam at 3-1 slates.

Despite holding momentum, head coach Aaron Velez remains wary of the High Speed Hitters, who have the height advantage at the net with solid towering middles led by team captain Mika Reyes and Dell Palomata.

Velez also knows that PLDT is also a no-pushover team as it forced F2 Logistics to a five-setter only to come up short.

“They had a five-setter match against F2 so we can’t be complacent against them,” Velez said.

“I remind my players every time that we’re only as good as our last game so we just have to keep on learning and strive for excellence all the time.”

Most Valuable Player frontrunner Mylene Paat will once again lead the Crossovers’ charge with reliable backup in EJ Laure, Shaya Adorador, Cza Carandang, libero Buding Duremdes and setter Alina Bicar.

“We just have to follow our coaches’ game plan and study how to execute our game plan against PLDT,” Paat, who dropped 22 points the last time out, said.

The High Speed Hitters rebounded from a stinging loss to F2 Logistics with an emphatic 25-19, 25-12, 25-21, drubbing of the Lady Troopers last Thursday for a 1-1 slate at solo fifth spot.

PLDT mentor Rald Ricafort braces for another tough challenge but remains upbeat of their club’s chances of pulling off an upset.

“They’re coming off a win and have a good lineup this year. Their chemistry is also there so this will be a big challenge for us. But we’ll be ready,” he said.

Ricafort has faith in wingers Mean Mendrez, Jovy Prado and Michelle Morente, veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan and libero Kath Arado to help Reyes and Palomata.

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