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Chery Tiggo completes PVL semis cast, PLDT drops Creamline for first time ever

JR Isaga

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Chery Tiggo completes PVL semis cast, PLDT drops Creamline for first time ever

HIGH NOTE. The Chery Tiggo Crossovers (left) and PLDT's Savi Davison react in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference

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Red-hot Chery Tiggo eliminates PLDT from the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Final Four through a 5-set win over Galeries, while the High Speed Hitters vent their ire on semis-bound Creamline after being ousted

MANILA, Philippines – Red-hot Chery Tiggo, in a perfect test before the 2024 PVL All-Filipino semifinals, went through the wringer in its final assignment, downing the gutsy Galeries Tower Highrisers in five sets, 26-24, 23-25, 19-25, 25-12, 15-9, to win its seventh straight game and formalize its Final Four entry with a 9-2 record.

Super sophomore Eya Laure, despite having an inefficient spiking game, went all-out in all departments with a 20-point finish with 5 blocks, 18 excellent receptions, and 11 excellent digs.

Veterans Ara Galang and former MVP Mylene Paat backstopped with 13 and 9 points, respectively, as resurgent setter Alina Bicar rounded out the offense with 16 excellent sets and 4 points.

Head coach Kungfu Reyes was grateful of the five-set challenge given by a Galeries side with nothing to lose given their 3-8 record, as it prepares his wards for grittier challenges ahead in the single round-robin semifinals alongside champion Creamline (8-3), finalist Choco Mucho (9-2), and ever-dangerous Petro Gazz (9-2).

“Come the semis, it’s automatic that the competitiveness is higher. All teams definitely want to go to the finals,” he said in Filipino. “But it’s who’s healthiest who has the bigger chance, and I think we have a big chance, since we have no major nor minor injuries.”

Meanwhile, the PLDT High Speed Hitters, just mere hours after being eliminated due to the Chery Tiggo win, ended their conference on a high with a thrilling four-set win over Creamline, 22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 27-25, snapping an eight-game losing skid over the Cool Smashers since joining the PVL in 2021.

Savi Davison, now unfortunately eliminated from the MVP race, finished her stellar conference with a game-high 27-point outing, backstopped by 15 and 13, respectively, from Erika Santos and Fiola Ceballos.

Head coach Rald Ricafort simply looked at the bright side after the historic, yet bittersweet win, after his team went from first place to eliminated in just a three-game stretch.

“I was able to instill in them the mindset heading to this game to end it on a high note,” he said in Filipino. “Our goal in every conference is nine wins. Hopefully, next conference, we get there.”

“At least we were able to end it with a win and our preparation for next conference is a bit more positive.”

Jema Galanza paced the untimely loss heading to the round-robin semis with 16 points, followed by 12 off the bench from Tots Carlos.

It is now back to zero for the four semifinalists as the Final Four begins on Tuesday, April 30, at the PhilSports Arena.

The top two teams will earn their place in the best-of-three finals, with a playoff game tiebreaker in case the second and third-ranked teams end up with the same record. –

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