MANILA, Philippines – The Chery Tiggo Crossovers stayed in the hunt for a 2023 PVL semifinal berth with a dominant 25-21, 25-19, 25-19 sweep to oust the Choco Mucho Flying Titans at the PhilSports Arena on Thursday, March 9.
Having a huge hand in the win to snap a three-game skid is former Choco Mucho spiker Pauline Gaston, who notched a triple-double of 12 points, 19 excellent digs, and 12 excellent receptions as her new team rose to a 4-3 record.
Reigning Reinforced Conference MVP Mylene Paat erupted for 25 points off 22 attacks, 2 aces, and 1 block, while Cza Carandang added 12 points, including a solo block on Bea de Leon that ended the second set for a 2-0 lead, and with it, Choco Mucho’s slim hopes of entering the semifinals.
Due to them dropping the first two sets, the Flying Titans could have only reached a maximum of 11 points had they rallied for a five-set win based on the league’s system. Creamline, Petro Gazz, F2, and PLDT already have at least 12 points each in the standings.
“Again, I just want to keep on thanking the Lord for always guiding us. Everybody’s healthy,” said Chery Tiggo head coach Aaron Velez.
“Secondly, I just want to congratulate the ladies. They poured their heart out. They trusted one another and we stuck by it.”
Kat Tolentino was Choco Mucho’s lone double-digit scorer in the conference-ending loss with 16 points, while Isa Molde and Des Cheng scored 8 apiece.
Meanwhile, in the first game of the double-header, the Petro Gazz Angels booked the second semifinal berth off a four-set win over the also-ran Akari Chargers, 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16, for a 5-2 record with one game remaining on their schedule.
Djanel Cheng had herself another superb playmaking performance with 25 excellent sets, as five players breached double-digit scoring in the win that sent the Angels to a 5-2 record with a superior point total to F2, another 5-2 team.
Grethcel Soltones topscored with 20 points off 16 attacks and 4 aces. Best blocker candidate Remy Palma added 3 more rejections to her tally for 13 points, while Jonah Sabete scattered a triple-double of 11 points, 18 excellent digs, and 10 excellent receptions.
Former Ateneo standout Erika Raagas had the best game of her budding pro career in the loss with 19 points off 16 attacks, 2 blocks, and 1 ace, while Dindin Santiago-Manabat was checked to just 9 points – the first time this conference that she did not lead Akari in scoring. – Rappler.com
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