Jelena Cvijovic may not be the explosive scorer that one expects from an import in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference but she gets the job done.
The 6-foot-1 outside spiker out of Montenegro has led Chery Tiggo to an immaculate 5-0 win-loss card and the first ticket holder in the round-robin semifinals.
This despite not being heavily relied on in their attacks, ranking only seventh out of the nine reinforcements in points scored.
Leading the pack is Elena Samoilenko of PLDT followed by Prisilla Rivera (Akari), Odina Aliyeva (Choco Mucho), Yeliz Basa (Creamline), Lindsey Vander Weide (Petro Gazz), and Lindsay Stalzer (F2 Logistics) in that order.
“I am happy and I feel good in this team. I don’t want to think about scoring, about points. I don’t want to be selfish or to put some pressure on myself,” said the 30-year-old import who had stints in Serbia, Greece, Romania, and Turkey.
What she might lack in scoring firepower, Cvijovic compensates in her floor defense, tallying 19 excellent receptions to go with her 19 points in the Crossovers five-setter win over United Auctioneers Inc-Army for the semis berth on Thursday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
“Actually yun naman talaga yung hinahanap ko kay Jelena kasi before she played libero for the national team,” mentioned Esteban, referring to two games where Cvijovic suited up as libero due to team issues.
“Pero yun nga every time sinasabi ko sa kanya yun I need your defense, I need your receive. At the start pa lang kitang kita naman namin na magaling ‘yung passing niya saka ‘yung digging niya.”
Anyway, scoring is not much of a problem for the Crossovers who have the top three local scorers in the league as of Thursday.
“She’s very good captain and leader. She’s pushing a lot so it’s really good to play with her and other players because I think everybody is [contributing always],” said Cvijovic.