PASIG — They gave it their all. Until everything bogged down in crunch time.
Akari threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at league leader Chery Tiggo, but could not pull through in the fifth set as they fell to the Crossovers in a thrilling battle Thursday at the Philsports Arena.
It was a nip-and-tuck matchup all throughout, except for the final frame, where Chery Tiggo pounced on errors and capitalized on lucky aces to run away with a 23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21, 15-6 victory.
Prisilla Rivera and Janine Marciano turned in inspired performances and combined for a whopping 54 points highlighted by 53 kills, but their herculean efforts were not enough as the Chargers dropped to 1-2.
Rivera, the hulking import from Dominican Republic, peppered the Crossovers’ defense with an array of attacks and finished with a game-high 30 points on 39.7% spiking accuracy.
Meanwhile, Marciano delivered her best outing in years. The San Beda product was active on offense from the get-go and crushed Chery Tiggo’s blockers with ease, en route to her PVL-best 24 points — all on kills.
Adding to the bright spots was Krich Macaslang, who was a sniper from the service line, and provided a jolt of energy on the court to contribute 11 points sprinkled with four aces.
It was in the opposite, however, that coach Jorge De Brito could not get consistent production, as Erika Raagas struggled after two early blocks. Her replacement, Lycha Ebon, was unable to step up to the plate and finished with six markers.
On the other hand, four Crossovers scored in double figures led by Mylene Paat and Cza Carandang, who had 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Their import, Jelena Cvijovic, brought her usual all-around game and gave Akari’s receivers fits with 16 points off nine hits, four blocks, three aces, and 13 excellent receptions.