Chery Tiggo Crossovers defeated the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in straight sets, 25-16, 26-24, 25-23, in the do-or-die Game 3 of their 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Semifinals on Tuesday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Crossovers were quick to establish their control in the first set, winning 25-16 thanks to a strong attack by veteran middle blocker Maika Ortiz.
In contrast to the first set, the Santiago sisters’ second set is a little more difficult, as they must come back from as much as four points down to win the set 2-0.
The Flying Titans put up a fight in the second set, as lefty Caitlyn Viray’s hammer pierced Chery Tiggo’s Jaja Santiago’s defense, putting them at set point, 24-22.
Kim Gequillana, however, faulted on her serve, conceding 24-23. As Crossovers regained the lead, 25-24, Santiago had an ace followed by a cross-court attack from Dindin Santiago-Manabat.
Chery Tiggo won the second set, 26-24, when Kat Tolentino committed an attack fault.
In Set 3, it was Choco Mucho’s chance to come back from behind, scoring seven straight points to turn an 11-15 deficit into an 18-15 lead.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat, on the other hand, didn’t give up and scored three points to help her team reclaim a 23-21 lead. Kat Tolentino responded for the Flying Titans, tying the game at 23 apiece before Crossovers coach Aaron Velez called timeout.
Following the much-needed break, Chery Tiggo’s semifinal victory was sealed by Mylene Paat’s kill and a Choco Mucho error.
Jasmine Nabor, Chery Tiggo’s main playmaker, had a strong game in the decider, recording three aces and 28 excellent sets.
Chery Tiggo will now face defending Open Conference champion Creamline Cool Smashers in a best-of-three Finals series. Creamline advanced to the finals on Monday night after sweeping Petro Gazz Angels in their own semis series.
Chery Tiggo is the only team to defeat the Cool Smashers during the elimination round.