By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Chery Tiggo snapped Petro Gazz’s three-game winning run with a thrilling 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 victory in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Sunday at the PVC Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
Jaja Santiago spearheaded the assault for the Crossovers, who posted their second straight win to improve to a 5-2 win-loss record while the Angels dropped to solo fourth at 4-2.
The 6-foot-4 Santiago continued to show her vast experience playing abroad by erupting for 20 points built on 16 kills, three blocks and one ace.
Chery Tiggo encountered stiff competition in the third set from Petro Gazz, which kept the game close and exciting.
A service error from Remy Palma proved costly for the Angels as it allowed the Crossovers to take a 23-21 lead to gain the needed momentum in the crunch.
Santiago led Chery Tiggo to set point with her signature attack, but Myla Pablo came to the rescue for Petro Gazz by unloading a corner kill to keep the Angels afloat.
But it proved to be the Angels’ last stand as Santiago sealed the victory with a quick attack in the middle.
In other games, Sta Lucia boosted its own semis bid by downing BaliPure, 25-15, 25-12, 25-14, while PLDT Home Fibr finally ended a six-game losing spell by sweeping Perlas, 25-22, 25-20, 25-21.
Though already out of contention, the Power Hitters still played with lots of passion to savor the sweet taste of victory – thanks to Isa Molde who scored 14 points built on 12 kills and two aces.
Toni Basas and Jorelle Singh also starred for the team’s win by contributing 11 points apiece.
The Lady Realtors needed a little over an hour to dispatch the Water Defenders and hike their win-loss tally to 4-3 for solo fifth.
Jonah Sabete led Sta Lucia by firing 11 of her 15 points on attacks, while Dell Palomata took charge of the net defense by posting five blocks to finish with 11 points.
MJ Phillips also stepped up with 10 points, while Bang Pineda and Jovielyn Prado combined for 29 of the team’s 57 digs.