Chery Tiggo quashed PLDT’s semifinal hopes with a hard-earned 25-20, 18-25, 22-25, 25-16, 18-16 triumph Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Down 16-15 in the pivotal fifth set, the Crossovers banked on three straight attack errors from Jules Samonte and Dell Palomata to secure the victory.
The win serves as a morale booster for Chery Tiggo, which is already in the semifinals, as it finished the eliminations with a 6-2 record.
PLDT’s loss – its fifth against three victories – ended its semis bid.
Mylene Paat pumped in 23 points while import Jelena Cvijovic fired 20 points to anchor the Crossovers, who had to dig deep in the last two frames after being down by two sets to one.
The duo also combined for 37 of the team’s 64 kills.
Czarina Carandang also helped with 10 points even as EJ Laure added eight.
Chery Tiggo’s win outshone the efforts of Elena Samoilenko for PLDT after the Russian reinforcement sizzled with 24 attacks for 26 points.
The Crossovers set the pace in the fifth set with a 4-0 start, but Palomata’s all-around plays, Samoilenko’s offense and Mika Reyes’ defense closed the gap at 12-all.
Back-to-back hits from Paat and Laure gave Chery Tiggo the matchpoint advantage, 14-12, but Samoilenko and Palomata refused to give up for PLDT as they pushed the game to 15-14 in their favor.
A crosscourt attack from Paat breathed life for the Crossovers, before the unforced errors sent the High Speed Hitters to their doom.