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Tiebreaker Times


PVL: EJ Laure takes charge as Chery Tiggo clinches second win against Strong Group

Chery Tiggo zoomed to its second win after dismantling Strong Group in straight sets, 25-12, 25-17, 25-19, for the early lead in the 2024 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off a dominant 25-6, 25-15, 25-15 sweep of Capital1 last Tuesday, the Crossovers sustained their momentum and secured their second consecutive victory at the expense of the Athletics, who have now dropped their second-straight loss to start their campaign.

“Getting better every game, ‘yun naman hinahabol namin. Na-execute naman namin ‘yung mga magagandang plays kaya happy naman kahit papaano,” said Chery Tiggo head coach Kung Fu Reyes.

After dropping the first two sets, SGA made a last-ditch attempt in the third set to extend the game as Souzan Raslan and Dolly Versoza capitalized on the Crossovers’ string of errors to help the Athletics close a nine-point gap to just four, 22-18, via a 5-0 run.

Nikkie Baldizanso committed a service error, halting SGA’s streak but Mylene Paat’s attack sailed out which brought the lead back to four. Ara Galang then scored off the block before Versoza was called for a net violation which sealed the deal after an hour and 11 minutes.

“Ang mini-maintain kasi namin dito yung ano, malalim talaga yung bench pero yung timing nung transition ng tao, yung palitan ng tao,” said the veteran coach, who played all of his 14 players in the match.

“Saka yung composition ng tao, yun ang inaalagaan namin ngayon. At the same time, hindi namin bubugbugin yung players namin, medyo mahaba-haba yung liga so mas marami kaming combinations,” he added.

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Paat spearheaded Chery Tiggo’s balanced attack with 10 points on nine attacks and one ace while EJ Laure, who only played in the first two sets, tallied nine markers on nine attacks to hand the Crossovers the early lead in the standings with a 2-0 card.

Cza Carandang and Cess Robles chipped in seven markers apiece while team captain Aby Marano had six points.

Chery Tiggo will have a one-week break before dipping right back into action against last conference’s finalist Choco Mucho on Saturday, 6:00 p.m. at the Philsports Arena.

On the other hand, the Athletics, who fell to 0-2, were led by Justine Rebleza, Versoza, and Sheeka Espinosa with eight points each.

Meanwhile, the Athletics will face off against fellow new squad Capital1 on March 5, Tuesday also at the Philsports Arena at 4:00 p.m.

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