MANILA (UPDATED) – Chery Tiggo survived Cignal in a five-set marathon, 17-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 16-14 on Tuesday in the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Eya Laure was superb for the Crossovers, firing 26 points on 21 attacks, three blocks, and the game-winning service ace. Cess Robles, who had crucial attacks on Sets 4 and 5 which allowed Chery Tiggo to come back, had 18 in the encounter.
Cignal put up a valiant fight behind Vanie Gandler, who put up 21 points, while Ces Molina added 14.
The Crossovers extended their winning streak to five and improved their record to 7-1. The HD Spikers, meanwhile, saw their five-game winning streak ending tonight, 6-3.
Ria Meneses sparked a late Cignal HD push in Set 4, with her block giving the HD Spikers a 21-20 lead. Eya Laure's attack tied the game before Meneses connected on a quick kill for another Cignal HD lead, 22-21.
Chery Tiggo's Cza Carandang committed an unfortunate double touch violation, 23-21, with Jovelyn Gonzaga adding one for Cignal with an attack. A Gel Cayuna service ace clinched the set for the HD Spikers.
Cignal had a 19-15 lead in the fourth set, but Chery Tiggo put together a 4-0 run to even at 19-all.
Vanie Gandler caught fire as she gave Cignal the lead at 22-21, but Pauline Gaston equalized the match once more. Mylene Paat's rejection of Gandler put the Crossovers ahead before Robles unleashed a sharp kill that closed the set for Chery Tiggo and allowed them to force a decider.
The final frame was tightly contested, as expected, with both sides refusing to give up the five-set thriller.
Laure broke the 10-10 deadlock – who scored off the block – while Mylene Paat's crosscourt kill gave them a 2-point cushion.
Molina caught the defense sleeping as she unleashed a sharp spike, but Laure made it a two-point game again, 13-11.
It was the HD Spikers who reached match point first after a 3-0 run courtesy of Molina and Roselyn Doria, who also joined the party for Cignal, 14-13.
But Laure's offense – including the game-winner – and Carandang's defense paved way to overturn the match at 16-14.
Asked what was going on in her mind as she dealt the match-winning service ace in the postgame interview, Laure said: "Ipapasok ko lang 'to, walang mawawala."