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by Andy Fiel
The Chery Tiggo Crossover played a masterful game led by the Santiago sisters and Joy Dacoron as they dominated the PLDT Home Fibr Hitters in straight sets, 25-20, 25-17, 25-6, at the PCV Socio Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Notre.
The Crossover started the match by erecting their biggest lead at 8-2 in the first set before Isa Molde cut it to five off a cross-court following a technical timeout. The Home Fibr Hitters staged their biggest rally at the tail end of the first set by bringing the Chery Tiggo lead down to 19-18, courtesy of an ace serve by Eli Soyud.
However, they failed to be consistent giving the Crossovers the momentum going to the next set.
Jaja Santiago and Din Din Santiago-Manabat were in top form leading the team in points off spikes with the former dishing out 4 serve aces and the latter collecting 12 points off 10 hits, 1 block, and an ace serve.
Joy Dacoron was busy at the net getting 6 block points to add to the dominance of her team.
Meanwhile, Isa Molde top-scored for PLDT producing 8 points for the match coming from 7 attack points and 1 service ace.
In the second game of the night the Creamline Cool Smasher worked their way from a third set loss to push back the Sta, Lucia Realtors in the fourth set to win, 25-18, 25-21, 25-27, 25-18. The defending 2019 Open Conference champions led by Alyssa Valdez and Michelle Gumabao gained their first win impressively.
For most of the match the Lady Realtors were forced to change personnel to find a good fit against a veterans lade team.
At the start of the third set, they again seemed disjointed as they took an 0-4 deficit. But the coaching staff began to redirect the offense and sent MJ Phillips into combination plays and gave Panaga some good opportunities at zone 4 that punctured the blocking system of the Cool Smashers.
Sta. Lucia was able to level the count at 22 with a cross-court hit from Aiza Maizo Pontillas She hit twice more to help her side grab the third set, 27-25.
Michelle Gumabao had a monster game and took the player of the game award with 24 points (21 attacks, 2 service aces, 1 block) while Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado led the veteran team on both ends of the court.