The Akari Chargers fell to the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in five nerve-wracking sets, 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-17, 7-15, in the 2023 PVL Invitational Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Eli Soyud topscored for the Chargers with 18 points with 15 coming off spikes, while three from attacks. On the other hand, Trisha Genesis and Faith Nisperos chipped in 15 points apiece.

Akari kept in step with Chery Tiggo in the early moments of the first set, trading hits with one after another. Unfortunately, errors plagued the Chargers later on and they couldn’t gather their bearings after the Crossovers cruised to an 18-10 advantage. The former tried to claw their way back but the lead was too big to overcome, eventually surrendering the set, 18-25.

In the second frame, the Chargers went out the gate firing. Coach Jorge Souza de Brito’s squad answered the call with a 6-1 start. The Crossovers stepped within shouting distance, 19-17, after an EJ Laure crosscourt hit, but Akari never looked back en route to a 25-22 win.

At the start of the third canto, everything was completely opposite for the Chargers. Chery Tiggo capitalized on the errors that had haunted Akari all night long to grab an 11-3 edge. The Chargers showed fight, cutting the deficit to four. However, the comeback fell short with the Crossovers hitting from all cylinders on their way to a third set win.

The Crossovers, then, looked to finish the game in the fourth set, but the Chargers had other ideas in mind. The latter built the biggest lead for either team with 10. Chery Tiggo went on a 3-0 to trim the deficit to seven, but Macaslang and Nisperos, including timely errors from the Crossovers allowed the match to go into a deciding set.

In the final frame, Akari couldn’t recover from another bad start. Princess Robles capped of a 9-3 blitz from Chery Tiggo. Nisperos and Genesis led another attempted comeback, but the score was already out of reach.

Eya Laure dropped 19 markers, while sister EJ tallied 15. Moreover, Mylene Paat and Ponggay Gaston poured in 11 points each for the Crossovers who entered the win column.

Despite the loss, head coach Jorge Souza de Brito mentioned that the Chargers were better defensively today, but emphasized that the team must not let emotions get the best of them to get the outcome they want.

“If you look at the numbers, we played with receive, consistent with the blockings, but also, this game is about decision-making. There are some times that [it] is more [on the] decision to not be so emotional because emotions always influence our decisions. We need to be more mature, to make the right decision at the right time to have the best results in these games.”

Set scores: 18-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-17, 7-15.

Akari Chargers Box Score: Soyud 18, Nisperos 15, Genesis 15, Macaslaang 6, Madrigal 5, Manabat 5, Raagas 4, Marciano 3, Malaluan 2.