By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Chery Tiggo fended off a gritty Choco Mucho side to post a 25-16, 26-24, 25-23 victory in their semis rubber match and book a finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Thursday at the PVC Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Crossovers rose from a 19-17 third set deficit with hard-hitting spikes before an unforced error by Choco sealed the win in their favor.
The victory arranged Chery Tiggo a best-of-three showdown for the first pro league title with Creamline, which swept Petro Gazz in their best-of-three semis affair.
Choco Mucho drew the first blood after taking Game 1, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21, two days ago but Chery Tiggo retaliated with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-24 win to forge a deciding duel.
The Crossovers carried that momentum in this crucial match with sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat taking charge of the offensive end.
The sisters combined for 28 of the team’s 44 attacks with Jaja finishing with 17 points and Dindin adding 16.
Jasmine Nabor was also instrumental in the team’s win by converting 28 excellent sets on top of three points.
Chery Tiggo coach Aaron Velez thanked his stalwarts for trusting their system.
“The players were so committed in our system, to each other. The trust is like a family for us so we know that we’re going to back each other up,” Velez said, who also commended Choco Mucho for giving a good fight.
“They (Choco Mucho) were able to push us to our full potential and hopefully we can sustain it,” he said.
Game 1 of the finals will be Wednesday at 6 p.m.