Tolentino, Choco Mucho halt skid; Army drubs BaliPure



MANILA, Philippines – Choco Mucho rose from a five-game losing slump as the Flying Titans survived a five-set thriller over the feisty Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers, 32-34, 25-12, 23-25, 25-18, 15-11, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference on Saturday, September 21 at Malolos Sports and Convention Center in Bulacan.

Kat Tolentino’s 36-point performance helped Choco Mucho snap its five-set curse as former Ateneo skipper Bea De Leon returned in limited minutes as a service specialist for the Flying Titans.

Kim Gequillana posted an all-around performance with 12 points, 14 excellent digs, and 14 excellent receptions while Shannen Palec and Erika Alkuino chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively for Choco Mucho, which improved its record to 3-6.

Playmaker AC Masangkay dished out 44 excellent sets while Bang Pineda covered the floor with 25 digs and 11 receptions.

Despite yielding a 10-0 start, Chef’s Classics withstood Choco Mucho's huge comeback attempt as Bien Juanillo and Nieza Viray delivered the last two points of the extended opening set.

Momentum shifted to the Flying Titans' side as Tolentino kept her offense going in the 2nd frame and trumped the Lady Red Spikers with a 13-point blowout.

Chef’s Classics marched behind Nieza Viray and took the 3rd set, but Choco Mucho quickly regrouped and averted another upset by unleashing a late 7-1 run in the 4th frame to force a decider.

The Flying Titans took full control in the final frame, all thanks to Tolentino’s hot hand and the numerous unforced errors of the Lady Red Spikers.

Viray had her own triple-double of 18 points, 15 digs and 11 receptions while Iris Oliveros added 17 markers for the worn-out Chef’s Classics, who remained at the bottom with a 0-10 slate.


Army notches back-to-back wins over BaliPure

The Pacific Town Army Lady Troopers picked up back-to-back wins at the expense of BaliPure Purest Water Defenders, 25-17, 25-22, 25-18.

Playing minus Jovelyn Gonzaga, Army relied on its sharp aces and main gunners Royse Tubino and Jem Gutierrez to deal BaliPure its sixth straight loss.

Tubino fired 17 points with 10 excellent digs while Gutierrez scored 6 of her 12 points from the service area to help the Lady Troopers move to a 6-5 record.

BaliPure held a slim lead heading to the second technical timeout of the opening set before Gutierrez sparked a 10-1 Army blitz through her fiery services to close the set with an eight-point advantage.

The Lady Troopers barely escaped in the 2nd set as the Water Defenders fought back and trimmed the 12-point deficit to just two, 24-22. Gutierrez, though, delivered the final point for Army to secure a commanding 2-0 lead.

A mini 3-0 BaliPure rally tied the game at 9 in the 3rd set but Army stepped on the gas and leaned on Lutgarda Malaluan and Tubino to complete the straight-set victory over the 2-9 BaliPure.

Graziella Bombita and Satrriani Espiritu led the charge for the Water Defenders with 7 points apiece. –