The Premier Volleyball League (PVL) held the first professional volleyball tournament in the country’s history on Saturday.
And Chery Tiggo helped make it spectacular.
The Crossovers hit the PLDT Power Hitters, 25-20, 25-17, 25-6, to kick off the league’s bubble season at the Centro Cultural Socio-Cívico PCV in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte province.
“As a team with little time to prepare, we really tried to get our game back and make our connection,” said Crossovers star Jaja Santiago.
Chery Tiggo outscored the PLDT on both attack and defense, as exemplified by center-back Mary Joy Dacoron, whose 13 points, the best team on the team, included six blocks. Dindin Santiago-Manabat scored 12 points and was visibly elated to be playing with her sister Jaja again.
“I always look for my sister on the court and now she’s here, I’m happy,” said Dindin, who has been a teammate with her sister since college before going their separate ways while playing for different clubs in Japan.
Yes, still trying to regain his playing form, he finished with 11 points.
“When I returned from Japan, the pandemic [still forced lockdowns]. I couldn’t play at all so it’s really an adjustment and I have to do everything I can to bring my game back to Chery, ”said Haha.
Despite that, PLDT had little resistance to Chery Tiggo’s net incursions, failing to register a single block.
As a result, the crosses peppered their enemies by piercing 38 of 94 peaks while holding the powerful to a measly 26 of 107 count.
University of the Philippines star Isa Molde led the PLDT with eight points, while Ellie Soyud had seven.
From a 10-5 count in the third set, the Crosses scored 13 points in a row, leaving their foes breathless.
The Power Hitters couldn’t put together any offense of their own until Kath Villegas scored on a quick play.
But even that failed to stop Chery Tiggo’s assault, and Dacoron was the one who made the decisions.
As part of the protocols in the biosecure environment, fans were not allowed to enter the venue and player movement was strictly limited.
“It’s different because at least in Japan, there was an opportunity to relax if you’re anxious or frustrated,” Haha said. “Here, you are on your own. Also, there are no fans cheering you on either, so it’s really a sacrifice. “
Organizing Sports Vision actually set a three-match bid in the opening sessions, but the Perlas-Cignal HD game was postponed earlier in the day due to precautionary measures.
This after the governor of Ilocos Norte. Matthew Manotoc had asked the players on both teams to undergo another reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test.
“This is just a precautionary measure established by the LGU (local government unit) of Ilocos Norte,” said league commissioner Tony Boy Liao. “Therefore, we will postpone the Perlas-Cignal game to a later date.”
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