BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE - Ahead, behind, and dragged into pressure-packed finishes, Chery Tiggo always found a way to break free, repulsing Perlas in straight sets, 25-10, 27-25, 25-23, to wrest solo third in the 2021 PVL Open Conference, Monday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center here.
The victory claimed in an hour and a half served as redemption for the Crossovers who kicked off their campaign by going back-to-back only to drop an ego-deflating five-set setback to BaliPure last Thursday.
On this day, Chery Tiggo faced a rival still reeling from a straight-set loss to Choco Mucho the previous night and still adjusting to the level of pro play after a long-delayed debut.
Jaja Santiago and company romped without a hitch in the opening set, pulled through in an extended duel in the next, then flashed resiliency in the momentum-swinging third frame.
"Definitely, I'm happy. A win is a win," expressed head coach Aaron Velez. "But there's a lot of work to do and we can't relax."
Being complacent, according to Velez, had led to their loss to the Purest Water Defenders and he could only hope his wards had learned from that experience.
"It's already done and we just have to take it as a learning experience moving forward," he added after they improved to 3-1 while dealing Perlas its second loss in as many games.
Jaja Santiago led the Crossovers with 15 hits while Shaya Adorador backed her up with 12 points, including four aces. Dindin Santiago-Manabat added eight markers as well as her oft-stout net defense as they dominated the blocking department, nine to two.
Veteran Sue Roces flashed vintage form to power Perlas for majority of the third set and finished with 11 points, the same output put in by Nicole Tiamzon. The duo, however, visibly lacked solid support with Jho Maraguinot only adding six hits.
In the day's other game, Sta. Lucia snapped a two-game skid with a 25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18 victory over Black Mamba-Army.
Jovy Prado broke out with 17 points while MJ Philips and Jonah Sabete hit 14 and 13, respectively to fuel their drive back into the win column now at 2-3.
Ging Balse-Pabayo and Royse Tubino had 13 points apiece to top the scoring column for the Lady Troopers who fell to 1-3.