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Chery Tiggo trips Akari, forces 4-way tie

Chery Tiggo roared to its sixth straight victory, blasting Akari. 25-17, 25-20, 25-17, at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna Saturday and solidifying its position in the race for the last semifinal berth in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.

Despite the impressive win and streak, the Crossovers find themselves in a four-way tie at the top of the standings along the Petro Gazz Angels, the Creamline Cool Smashers and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, all posting 8-2 (win-loss) records.

However, Chery Tiggo remains in fourth place in the points tally with 23 points, trailing Petro Gazz, which earlier swept Galeries Tower to lead with 25 points, while Creamline and Choco Mucho both have 24 points heading into their respective final prelims assignments.

Chery Tiggo’s victory likewise officially booted Cignal, with a 5-4 slate, out the semis race with PLDT the last remaining threat to the Crossovers’ semis bid. The High Speed Hitters are also shooting for their eighth win in 10 matches against the HD Spikers at presstime.

A sweep over Cignal will also net PLDT 23 points, tying it with Chery Tiggo and rendering their final matches crucial to their semifinal aspirations.

But while the Crossovers are expected to romp past the Hightowers, the High Speed Hitters face a tough challenge against the defending champion Cool Smashers in their final match. Both games are set Thursday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Chery Tiggo, which hurdled strong teams such as Creamline, Petro Gazz, PLDT and Cignal, showcased its dominance over Akari from start to finish although the Chargers put up some resistance late in the second and third frames which the Crossovers handily contained.

Skipper Aby Maraño spoke about the team’s dedication and commitment as pivotal factors that have propelled them to their current position while underscoring the importance of discipline and maintaining focus throughout their campaign.

“We have been working together diligently – studying and reviewing our performances and our opponents', and training rigorously,” said Maraño, who scored seven points and clinched the game’s top honors.

“I’m grateful to my teammates for their unwavering dedication and commitment. They exhibit exceptional discipline, and that’s crucial. It all starts from within us – we believe in ourselves and remain focused,” she added.

Against Galeries Tower in their final elims game, the seasoned campaigner said: “Our attitude is always geared towards being resilient and fully committed to our roles as professional athletes.”

Eya Laure top-scored for Chery Tiggo with 14 points while Ara Galang churned out a nine-point game and Mylene Paat, EJ Laure and Cza Carandang matched Maraño’s output.

Ezra Madrigal led Akari, which fell to 4-6, with 10 points, including three kill blocks, while Erika Raagas finished with eight markers and Fifi Sharma added six points.

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