A hard-fought match for Chery Tiggo as it finally handed top-seeded Creamline Cool Smashers their first loss with a statement, 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20 in a four-set win in the 2021 PVL Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte Friday, July 30.

/ 31 July 2021

After a heartbreaking five-set loss last Wednesday, the Chery Tiggo Crossovers immediately bounced back with a gallant win over the unbeaten Creamline’s 5-0 start of the current season and its 25-game winning streak dating back to August 11, 2019.

With the win, Chery Tiggo currently holds fourth place in the standings with a 4-2 record, while Creamline fell to a 5-1 record.

Mylene Paat immediately made her presence felt in the first set with a returning Mika Ortiz who flaunted her signature running attacks and timely blocks to stun the undefeated Cool Smashers.

Come the second frame, both teams scored back-and-forth affairs as they were even at 20 all, but the Santiago sisters orchestrated a dominant 5-3 finishing kick for a 2-0 lead.

The Valdez-led squad was just not meant to be denied as they racked a rousing third set capped by Valdez’s clutch block on Santiago and her set-clinching attack to extend the match.

However, the Crossovers look to seal the win in their hands as they rush to a 17-11 advantage in the fourth set after the second technical timeout. 

But the Creamline displayed the heart of the champion, cutting the lead to just two courtesy of a 4-0 run by Tots Carlos and Michelle Gumabao.

However, Carlos and Gumabao committed a handful of errors that extended the Crossovers’ lead to a 22-15, highlighted by an ace from Shaya Adorador. 

This was immediately regained by Carlos as they cut the run to a 4-1 rally, 19-23. Carlos, then, committed a service error which put the Crossovers at match point. 

Chery Tiggo bagged the win after Valdez misfired an attack.

“Well definitely our team performed at their best today, Jaja, Dindin, and Maika were able to lead the team and that’s what we’re really hoping for,” Chery Tiggo head coach Aaron Velez said.

“We just have to go back to work. We still have a lot of rust that we have to clean up and then we have to stay connected and then remove all the negative thoughts or negative things that we have to get rid of,” he continued.

Santiago top scored with 20 points from 15 attacks, three aces, and two blocks, followed by her elder sister, Dindin who finished with 15 points, and then, Ortiz who delivered five of the team’s 12 kill blocks to add 13 markers.

Jasmine Nabor ended with 31 excellent sets on top of four points, while Mylene Paat had 11 markers, 19 digs, and 10 excellent receptions.

Meanwhile, Valdez finished with 16 points off 13 kills, two blocks, and an ace. Carlos contributed with 12 points coming off the bench, while Michele Gumabao added 10 markers and as many as digs.