Crossovers ride young guns in demolition of Foxies

The Crossovers celebrate straight-sets win over Foxies. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

The Crossovers celebrate straight-sets win over Foxies. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Undermanned or not, Chery Tiggo is not one to hide what its intentions are in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.

“Everybody wants to go back to the finals, but one game at a time,” coach Aaron Velez said in Filipino, moments after a 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 whitewashing of Farm Fresh at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday, which was carved out with team leader Mylene Paat out. “We still see things that we need to improve on.”

Paat is still out with a swollen foot, but the Crossovers got steady performances from its brigade of young guns made up of sisters EJ and Eya Laure and Ces Robles, which is probably the reason why Velez has bared setting out the lofty target in the face of a tough field.

Another side serving notice of its ability to go deep was Akari, which prevailed, 21-25, 25-20, 27-25, 19-25, 15-8, over F2 Logistics as Dindin Manabat scored 19 points and Fifi Sharma contributing 13 points, counting the last two of the Chargers, in her pro debut.

The Reinforced Conference Most Valuable Player (MVP), Paat injured her right foot last August, was suited up against the Foxies but spent time on the bench.

“We’re making sure that she’s 100 percent. In the meantime, she still has 20 percent swelling on her foot,” Velez said. “I’m not going into details, but rest assured with the fire (of competing) in Mylene, she is working her way to speed up her recovery.”

The Crossovers played like they didn’t miss the scoring of Paat, as Eya and EJ Laure stepped up to finish with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Robles added 10.

“I really give it to Princess (Robles). I hope she becomes an inspiration to her teammates that whenever they get inside the court, besides from delivering, is the readiness [to step up],” Velez said. “We have to stick to our goal. We just have to deliver.”

Trisha Tubu carried the fight for the Foxies, scoring 15 points on 14 kills. But the Crossovers’ determination and chemistry fueled a comeback from 10-18 down in the third behind the former National University ace Robles.

“I just grabbed the opportunity given to me,” Robles, the UAAP Season 84 Finals MVP of the Lady Bulldogs team that went unbeaten, said. “I saw how my teammates are working, so I needed to deliver.” INQ

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