MANILA, Philippines – Eya Laure drilled the game-winning ace to complete Chery Tiggo’s come-from-behind 17-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 16-14 win over Cignal to extend her winning streak to five matches in the second All-Filipino Premier Volleyball League Conference (PVL 2023) on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena.
After the Crossovers blew a 13-11 lead and Ces Molina took the HD Spikers to the brink of victory, 14-13, Laure came to the rescue and forced a deuce before a decisive block by Cza Carandang on Molina.
Seeing her team’s winning streak and chances of reaching the semi-finals, debutant Chery Tiggo bet on herself at the service line.
Her serve landed on Cignal’s court, ending the two-hour and 13-minute match, putting Chery Tiggo in second place with a 7-1 record behind undefeated leader Creamline (7-0).
“I stopped and reminded myself that I had nothing to lose, I just had to return my serve. The KungFu coach is always by my side and reminds me of this without looking at him,” Laure said in Filipino, finishing with 26 points built on 21 kills, three blocks and two aces on 11 digs.
“I won’t be able to score 26 points on my own. I managed to do it thanks to the efforts of my teammates and coaches.
Cess Robles also sparked the Crossovers’ comeback, scoring 18 points, including fourth-period finishes that forced a deciding score. Mylene Paat and Carandang each scored 11 points, and setter Jasmine Nabor played 21 perfect sets, earning four points.
Assistant coach Chery Tiggo, KungFu Reyes, who decided to take shots again due to Aaron Velez’s previous involvement as team manager, praised the team effort of each Crossover in returning to the team.
“Since our previous games, we have been spreading a ‘never say (die’) attitude. Until the score reaches 25, it’s not over. It was everyone’s match, and whoever blinks an eye will regret losing. We just did the right thing in the end,” Reyes said in Filipino. “Luckily I have these two fighters [Laure and Robles] who are always ready to fight. Not just these two, we have a whole team. It was hard work with a bit of luck.”
With Cignal’s five-game winning streak ending, Laure and Crossovers are preparing for a tough final three games against F2 Logistics, Choco Mucho and undefeated Creamline, where they need to win at least two games to secure the semi-finals.
“Because in a professional league, we will eat a lot of rice. It’s like now, we just watch and see what good things we can get, we’ll take it and carry it over to the next games, but the ugly ones we did, let’s just move on. Apparently it’s normal to make mistakes, but what’s not normal is to be afraid of making them,” Laure said.
Cignal dropped to a 6-3 record in fourth place solo, despite a 20-point effort from Vanie Gandler. Cess Molina scored 14 points. Jovelyn Gonzaga added 11 points and 11 digs. Middle blockers Ria Meneses and Rose Doria added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Gel Cayuna played 24 perfect sets and scored 10, including three aces.