MANILA, Philippines – Eya Laure coached the winning ace to complete Chery Tiggo’s 17-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 16-14 victory over Cignal and extend their winning streak to five second all-Filipino conference of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena.
After the Crossovers blew a 13-11 lead as Ces Molina put the HD Spikers on the brink of victory, 14-13, Laure came to the rescue and forced a draw before Cza Carandang’s go-ahead block on Molina.
With her team’s winning streak and semi-final chances on the line, the Chery Tiggo rookie bet on herself on the service line.
His serve landed on Cignal’s court, ending the two-hour and 13-minute match, keeping Chery Tiggo in second place with a 7-1 record behind unbeaten leaders Creamline (7-0).
“I stopped and reminded myself that I’m not going to lose anything and I just need to send my withdrawal. Coach KungFu is always by my side to remind me without looking at him,” Laure said in Filipino as he finished with 26 points built on 21 kills, three blocks and two aces to complete 11 digs.
“I’m not going to be able to score 26 points alone. I did this with the effort of my teammates and coaches.”
Cess Robles also anchored the Crossovers’ comeback by delivering 18 points, including the finishing touches in the quarter to force a decider. Mylene Paat and Carandang had 11 points each, while setter Jasmine Nabor had 21 excellent sets in addition to four points.
Chery Tiggo deputy coach KungFu Reyes, who called the shots again due to Aaron Velez’s previous commitment as team manager, praised the effort of each Crossover’s team in achieving the comeback.
“We are passing on the never say (die) attitude from our previous games. Until the score reaches 25, it’s not over yet. It was a game for everyone, whoever blinks will regret the defeat. It turns out that in the end we did the right thing,” Reyes said in Filipino. “Luckily I have these two warriors (Laure and Robles) who are always ready to fight. Not just these two, we have the whole team. It was all hard work with a little luck.”
After ending Cignal’s five-game winning streak, Laure and the Crossovers prepare for three final challenging games against F2 Logistics, Choco Mucho and the unbeaten Creamline, where they need to win at least two games to secure a place in the semi-finals.
“Because we will eat a lot of rice in the professional league. It’s like now, we just watch and observe the good things we can achieve, we’ll take them and take them to our next games, but the ugly ones we did, just move on. Apparently it is normal to make mistakes, what is not normal is to be afraid of making mistakes”, said Laure.
Cignal fell to a 6-3 record in fourth place solo despite a 20-point effort from Vanie Gandler. Cess Molina had 14 points. Jovelyn Gonzaga contributed 11 points and 11 digs. Central blockers Ria Meneses and Rose Doria added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Gel Cayuna played 24 excellent sets and scored 10, including three aces.