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Perlas Spikers edges California in 4 sets in PNVF Champions League

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Tuguegarao-Perlas Spikers lost a set to a young and promising California Precision Sports (CPS) side but managed to keep its poise for a 25-20, 25-27, 25-15, 25-17 victory in Day 2 of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League on Sunday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center.

CPS took the second set to level, but the Perlas Spikers were able to dominate the next two behind Nicole Tiamzon and Michelle Morente to rebound from a four-set loss to reigning Premiere Volleyball League Open Conference champion Chery Tiggo on opening day Saturday.

Tiamzon had another solid outing of 18 points, including two service aces, and 12 digs while Morente had two blocks to finish with 11 points for the Perlas Spikers.

Aware of what CPS could offer, coach Rei Diaz reminded his wards to deliver their A-game.

“Kami, to give respect sa kalaban namin, hindi namin tinitignan kung sinong team. Kami, naka-mindset kami all out kami. Every game namin championship game. Nakakahanga yung pinakita nung California,” Diaz said.

CPS was on the cusp of winning its first set in the tournament in the second when the Perlas Spikers saved three set points courtesy of Tiamzon and Morente to make it 24-24.

But the Antipolo-based CPS was able to prevail in the extended second set, 27-25 on Casiey Dongallo’s key hits.

The Perlas Spikers regrouped in the next two as the young CPS crew, whose average age is 18, crumbled under intense pressure.

Up next for the Perlas Spikers is another morning matchup with Baguio City Highlanders at 10 on Monday.

“Magandang opportunity. Kami grab lang namin ‘yung opportunity. Ang goal namin is to give our best every game,” Diaz said. “Marami pa kaming dapat ensayuhin pero sa ngayon, kung ano ang kaya naming kontrolin ang gagawin naming.”

CPS, which also put up a gallant stand against F2 Logistics in Sunday’s inaugurals, fell to its second straight defeat.

CPS saved two set points courtesy of Jelai Gajero to threaten at 20-24 but the Perlas Spikers emerged triumphant in the opening set courtesy of a kill by substitute Cherilyn Sindayen.

“It’s teamwork at nakita namin gumawa ang lahat including the second six,” said Tiamzon, who followed up on her 21-point showing in the Perlas Spikers’ 22-25, 25-20, 14-25, 23-25 defeat to the Crossovers.

Dongallo led CPS with 18 points while Gajero added nine points, including two service aces, 12 digs and eight receptions.