Choco Mucho impresses in debut over BaliPure



MANILA, Philippines – Choco Mucho's much-anticipated debut lived up to the hype as the powerhouse Flying Titans overwhelmed the BaliPure Water Defenders in straight sets, 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, in the Philippine Volleyball League Open Conference on Wednesday, August 14 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Despite playing limited minutes, returning volleyball legend Manilla Santos-Ng helped the Flying Titans secure a dominant 25-12 victory in the opening set through her aces and excellent receptions.

Acy Masangkay earned the player of the game honor with 18 excellent sets and 13 digs while former Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles Kat Tolentino and Maddie Madayag led the scoring with 14 and 11, respectively, for the Choco Mucho squad.

The Flying Titans, who played minus UAAP Season 81 Finals MVP Bea De Leon, opened their campaign with a hot 8-2 run and capitalized on the poor floor defense of the Water Defenders, who had 28 unforced errors.

BaliPure picked up on offense early in the 2nd set and took a 13-9 advantage with a Graziella Bombita kill, but errors saw the Water Defenders yielding momentum to the Flying Titans.

Bombita and Menchie Tubiera both fired 9 points as no BaliPure player reached the double-digit mark.

Creamline goes 2-0

The Creamline Cool Smashers also hacked out an easy win with a 25-14, 25-15, 25-14 drubbing of Motolite for their second straight victory.

Creamline’s outstanding floor defense combined with the scoring surge of Alyssa Valdez closed all the opportunities for the Motolite squad, which fielded 3 different setters in the one-sided match.

Valdez fired a game-high 15 markers while Jema Galanza had an impressive all-around effort of 12 points, 18 excellent digs and 10 receptions for the Cool Smashers, who came from an impressive victory over the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers. 

The Cool Smashers sustained their dominant showing by the 3rd set, pulling away with an 8-2 start before dropping a 5-0 run to take a commanding 20-9 advantage over the Myla Pablo-led team.

Thang Ponce spearheaded the defense with 18 digs and 14 receptions while Pablo scored 11 points in a losing effort for Motolite.

Army scores

Meanwhile, the PacificTown Army Lady Troopers got their campaign off to a triumphant start as they marched past BanKo Perlas Spikers, 25-23, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20. 

The Lady Troopers, who won against the Perlas Spikers in the Reinforced Conference for the last spot on the podium, were able to close the match on a high note despite looking fatigued and shell-shocked in the 3rd set.

Jem Gutierrez led the offensive charge as she looked unstoppable with her 22-point performance while Royse Tubino drilled 19 points despite sitting out majority of the 3rd set for the Lady Troopers.

BanKo – before pulling off a third-set win that averted a sweep – also had the driver's seat late in the opening frame, thanks to Kath Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon. But Gutierrez single-handedly carried the load for the Army Troopers and blasted 3 consecutive kills to regain the lead.

Tubino came back well-rested in the 4th and continued to wreak havoc, giving Army an early advantage enough to take their first win of the conference.

Tiamzon led the charge with 21 markers as Dzi Gervacio chipped in 13 markers, 15 digs and 11 receptions for the losing Perlas Spikers, who dropped to 1-1 after earning a victory over Petro Gazz Angels last Sunday. –