Mylene Paat and Jelena Cvijovic joined hands as Chery Tiggo eliminated PLDT in five sets, 25-20, 18-25, 22-25, 25-16, 18-16 in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Paat converted 20 attacks for a team-high 23 points to go along with 11 excellent digs while the Montenegrin import tallied 20 points on 17 attacks, two kill blocks, and an ace on top of 21 excellent receptions to help the Crossvers cap off the preliminaries with a 6-2 win-loss slate.
Cza Carandang added 10 points for Chery Tiggo while EJ Laure chipped in eight markers.
“Yung trust naman namin sa players namin nandoon lagi kasi tine-train naman namin yun kung ano yung mga ganung sitwasyon para maka-recover,” said Chery Tiggo head coach Clarence Esteban.
“So ang sinasabi lang lagi namin is walang pressure, mag-laro lang sila nang mag-laro doon sa loob at i-enjoy lang nila kung ano yung dapat nilang gawin para yung pressure is mawala doon sa katawan nila at gumalaw sila nang maayos,” he added.
The Crossovers were already on their way to completing the five-set win after EJ Laure scored off a drop to put her side at match point, 14-12, before Elena Savkina-Samoilenko and Dell Palomata saved three match points to take a 15-14 advantage of their own.
Paat nailed a cross-court hit but Samoilenko answered right back to put the High Speed Hitters in the driver’s seat once again with a 16-15 advantage. Chery Tiggo didn’t need to do much from there as Jules Samonte committed an attack error before Palomata did the same two consecutive times which finished off the match.
Chery Tiggo drew first blood in the match but PLDT inserted Jovie Prado and Jessey De Leon in the next two sets which helped them take the next two for the 2-1 lead. The Crossovers then took a lopsided win in the fourth to send the game to a decider.
Samoilenko’s 26-point outing went down the drain as the High Speed Hitters bowed out of Final Four contention after the loss.
Mika Reyes chipped in 19 points on 12 attacks, four aces, and three blocks while Prado had 10 markers off the bench to go along with 17 excellent receptions and 16 excellent digs in the loss that dropped PLDT to 3-5.