international volleyball

Choco Mucho earns shot at 5th, Rebisco bows out of Asian Club Volleyball

Beatrice Go
Choco Mucho earns shot at 5th, Rebisco bows out of Asian Club Volleyball

KILLER INSTINCT. Kalei Mau powers Choco Mucho and the Philippines to its first win.

Asian Volleyball Confederation

Choco Mucho wins the all-Filipino bout against Rebisco to set up a battle for fifth place with Kazakhstan's Zhetysu squad

Choco Mucho grabbed its first win in the 2021 Asian Club Volleyball Championships over fellow Philippine squad Rebisco on Wednesday, October 6 at Terminal 21 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Choco Mucho rallied from a set down to boot out Rebisco out of the tournament in four sets, 22-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17, in the classification round.

This sets up a rematch between Choco Mucho and Kazakh team Zhetysu in the battle for fifth place on Thursday, October 7, 1:30 pm.

Kalei Mau led Choco Mucho with 20 points while MJ Phillips played her best game yet in the tournament with 13 points, including 7 in the fourth set.

Mylene Paat and Dell Palomata added 11 and 10 points, respectively, to backstop Choco Mucho’s offense.

Choco Mucho was fired up early, nabbing the lead in the first and second technical timeouts, but the young Rebisco squad overturned its deficit with a crucial 5-0 run to cruise to set point, 24-20.

Though Choco Mucho managed to save two set points, Rebisco’s Ivy Lacsina went for the kill to give the younger squad the lead in the match.

“It was challenging playing against a younger team,” Mau said. “It was really great to be able to just find their tendencies and also work on ours and just work our creativity as a team.”

Phillips provided a spark for Choco Mucho in the second set, fueling a run that gave them a nine-point lead, 20-11, that propelled the squad to clinch its first set win in the tournament.

Riding on its winning momentum, Choco Mucho tested Rebisco’s defense and stretched the lead to six in the third frame, 20-14.

Rebisco struggled to stage a comeback even with the entry of Eya Laure as Choco Mucho relied on its blocking to cruise to a 2-1 set lead.

In the fourth set, Choco Mucho rallied from an early deficit, 4-7, to arrest a momentum shift to the Rebisco side, and later escaped a stalemate for an 11-10 edge.

Phillips and Mau combined to lead the Choco Mucho offense as the squad wrapped up the first win for the Philippines.

“We got to play with our veteran ates (big sisters). It was really a very good experience for us younger girls and we have learned a lot,” said Faith Nisperos, who led Rebisco with 12 kills. “This experience has been a very good step for us, especially us college students.”    

Dindin Santiago-Manabat added 11 points for Rebisco, while Mhicaela Belen, who at 19 is the youngest in the national squad, had 10 points. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.