(UPDATE) Despite playing for seven straight days, the Chery Tiggo Crossovers proved they have enough power left in the tank as they clinched Premier Volleyball League’s (PVL) first-ever professional title.
Chery Tiggo completed a comeback to edge out the Creamline Cool Smashers and take the 2021 PVL Open Conference crown in yet another arduous battle, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-8, on Friday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
Down 0-2 heading to the crucial third set, the Crossovers leaned on Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jaja Santiago to take the frame and capture the pivotal momentum heading to the fourth set.
Manabat poured a scintillating 32 big points, while conference and Finals MVP Santiago tallied 26 points, including four blocks.
It was a nip-and-tuck battle down the stretch in the fourth with the Santiago sisters carrying the Crossovers, while Tots Carlos provided attack points for Creamline.
Tied at 20, the Santiagos scored back-to-back hits for a 22-20 lead. But Carlos drilled two spikes to even the match anew.
Santiago then teamed up to deny Carlos followed by an off-the-block hit of Santiago-Manabat to force a decider.
Chery Tiggo stepped on the gas early in the final set with 5-0 lead capped by a solid rejection of Santiago to Alyssa Valdez.
Santiago scored back-to-back hits, including a back row spike, to push their lead, 9-2. Creamline tried to return in the match with Valdez going crosscourt, 6-11.
But the Crossovers capitalized on their momentum and Santiago punctuated the match via middle hit, 15-8.
Carlos paced the Cool Smashers anew with 22 markers, while Valdez, one of the best open hitters of the season, contributed 17 points.