(UPDATED) Sta. Lucia squandered a two-set lead but regained its bearings in time to outlast Chery Tiggo in a five-set war, Wednesday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Lady Realtors’ net defense held up in the fifth set as they seized a 25-20, 25-12, 24-26, 21-25, 15-10 victory over the Crossovers, for their second win in a row in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.
Jovelyn Prado earned Player of the Game honors after scattering 19 points, on 17 kills and two aces. The Lady Realtors are now 3-3 in the competition, while Chery Tiggo dropped to 3-2.
“Kailangan lang maintindihan ng mga bata to keep on fighting, keep on believing, and enjoying the game,” Sta. Lucia coach Eddieson Orcullo said after their hard-earned victory.
It looked as though the Lady Realtors would cruise to a quick win after taking a 2-0 lead, as the Crossovers appeared out of sorts.
After gutting out a win in the first set, Sta. Lucia was in control all throughout the second frame. They scored five points off their serve, and limited the powerful Chery Tiggo squad to just seven attack points.
The match was briefly delayed due to a malfunctioning light in the venue, but the break didn’t seem to sap Sta. Lucia’s momentum as they grabbed a quick 3-0 lead in Set 3, and remained ahead, 20-5, late in the frame.
But the Lady Realtors’ errors, as well as timely hits from Rachel Austero and Dindin Santiago-Manabat, allowed Chery Tiggo to get back in the match. Mylene Paat came up big late, drilling the crosscourt hit that forced an extension, 24-all. MJ Phillips gifted Chery Tiggo a set point when her attack grazed the antenna, and Santiago-Manabat converted a hit to send the match to a fourth set.
In Set 4, it was Chery Tiggo’s turn to fend off Sta. Lucia’s rally. A big block by Phillips on Santiago-Manabat trimmed the deficit to one point, 21-20, but the Crossovers won four of the next five rallies to ensure a fifth frame.
Ultimately, the Lady Realtors showed more poise in the final set. Prado came up with the clutch hits, including a booming down-the-line hit that gave them a three-point cushion, 10-7. An offspeed shot by Santiago-Manabat kept Chery Tiggo alive, 12-10, but Tina Salak sent her next serve long, and Dell Palomata blocked Santiago-Manabat in back-to-back rallies to wrap up the victory for Sta. Lucia.
Phillips finished with 23 points on 16 kills and five blocks, while Jonah Sabete added 18 points including three blocks. The Lady Realtors had eight aces in the match.
Santiago-Manabat led Chery Tiggo with 20 points, while younger sister Jaja Santiago was limited to 14 markers on 10 hits, three blocks, and an ace.
volleyball, Premier Volleyball League, PVL, 2021 PVL Open Conference, Sta. Lucia, Cherry Tiggo
Read More: PVL: Sta. Lucia avoids collapse, outlasts Chery Tiggo in five sets 2021-07-28 10:00:00