MANILA, Philippines – The Choco Mucho Flying Titans immediately saw the fruits of their off-season recruitment drive pay off after they demolished the Black Mamba-Army Lady Troopers in straight sets, 25-13, 25-11, 25-23, at their 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference debut on Friday, March 18.
Although the charge was still led by old reliables Kat Tolentino and Deanna Wong, new recruits Des Cheng, Isa Molde, and Aduke Ogunsanya also chipped in Choco Mucho’s shutdown of the Army in the first two frames.
Head coach Oliver Almadro was not the least bit surprised with this development, as he noted that their chemistry buildup has been going well since their bubble training before the conference.
“We are a diverse team, but we are one team,” he said after the win. “My players are ready to adjust right away because their characters and passion for volleyball are one. Their mindset is to help one another, fight for one another, and to win.”
Cheng, in particular, was pleased with her debut, as she finished with 6 points in just two sets to add to the Flying Titans’ collective domination of the Army.
“Super excited, we waited for this for a long time after a long preparation,” she said. “It’s a new team, a new environment, so it’s a good thing we had a bubble for a month to get to know one another.”
“My performance, I would say, was better than last year,” she continued. “Last year, I was totally in pain. I couldn’t jump, I couldn’t spike, and now, I can already play. Slowly but surely, I’ll get there.”
This conference, it is especially important for Cheng and the rest of the new Titans to quickly jell with the mainstays as they are expected to finish the conference without the services of star blocker Maddie Madayag, who is still out with an ACL injury.
Moving forward, coach Almadro is bent on giving his stalwarts equal opportunities as they try to find the best combinations for one another as the conference rolls along.
“No matter where they came from, no matter who was their coach, what’s important is we have a collective mindset, and their character and passion are there,” he said.
“I thank the new players for embracing the system we have.” – Rappler.com