CHERRY TIGO crossed over the big hump with a big win to end a three-game skid by blasting a hapless Petro Gazz side, 25-22, 25-14, 25-21, in a duel of winless teams in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on Thursday.
Tipped to provide the aperitif to a much-awaited clash of unbeaten squads later in the day, the Crossovers and the Angels slugged it out only in the opening frame as the former pounced on the latter’s lackluster showing in the next two sets to complete the sweep following a streak of straight-set defeats to Choco Mucho, PLDT and Cignal.
Chery Tiggo hardly moved up the standing with a 1-3 slate but could draw on its breakthrough in pursuit of another win against Army next Tuesday before facing powerhouse Creamline on July 28.
“We’re happy and grateful for this win. With a complete lineup, we’re able to do what we had long wanted to do,” said coach Clarence Esteban, referring to the core of the team that won the league’s first pro crown in Ilocos Norte last year.
Injured DIndin Manabat still didn’t suit up, and so did ace setter Jasmine Nabor, but EJ Laure and Alina Bicar more than made for their continued absence as they combined for 18 points in their second game after missing the team’s first two matches due to health and safety protocols.
Shaya Adorador banged in 13 attack points on her way to a top-scoring 15-hit output while Laure delivered 13 points and Mylene Paat dished out another steady game of 12 markers.
Czarina Carandang also helped anchor the Crossovers’ romp, unleashing quick, power hits at center that forever baffled the Angels’ defenders throughout their one-hour, 24-minute match.
Practically hitting from all angles, the Crossovers produced 53 attack points, 15 more than their rivals, and finished with five blocks and five aces against the Angels’ three apiece.
Bicar also came up with 13 excellent sets, five short of counterpart Chi Saet’s, while spiking her fine playmaking chores with 11 excellent digs.
“It’s a big factor playing with a complete roster. We worked and helped together and we expect to fight stronger in our last two games,” said Bicar, who took the game’s best player honors.
Aiza Pontillas led the way for Petro Gazz with 12 pints while MJ Phillips, Grethcel Soltones and Remy Palma chipped in seven hits apiece. But Myla Pablo struggled with just six points for the Angels, who finished runner-up in the recent Open Conference but are on the brink of elimination with a 0-4 card.
They play the HD Spikers on Tuesday and will wrap up their elims campaign against the Flying Titans on July 30.