Premier Volleyball League

Choco Mucho shuts down Sta. Lucia in clean sweep

JR Isaga
Choco Mucho shuts down Sta. Lucia in clean sweep

DOMINANT. Top scorer Kat Tolentino (right) celebrates with Choco Mucho teammates (from left) Ponggay Gaston, Denden Lazaro, Regine Arocha, and Bea de Leon.

PVL MEDIA BUREAU

Kat Tolentino, Deanna Wong, and Ponggay Gaston take charge as Choco Mucho makes quick work of Sta. Lucia

The Choco Mucho Flying Titans hardly broke a sweat for their second win in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference as they swept the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, 25-17, 25-22, 25-20, at the Bacarra, Ilocos Norte bubble on Friday, July 23.

Kat Tolentino towered over the hapless Sta. Lucia defense and finished with 18 points off 16 attacks, while Deanna Wong added 21 excellent sets, 13 excellent digs, and 5 points.

Ponggay Gaston, meanwhile, sparked the third-set clincher, and was named Player of the Game with 8 points off 8 attacks.

After breezing through the first set, 25-17, Choco Mucho found itself down big in the second following a quick 7-1 start by Sta. Lucia, powered by back-to-back aces from star hitter Mika Reyes.

The Realtors kept up the pressure well into the second technical timeout, 16-12, but the Titans, sparked by three straight Maddie Madayag points, soared all the way to set point, 24-20, off a huge 13-4 run.

It was then all Choco Mucho in the final set as they piled on a 16-10 lead off a 7-3 blitz capped by a Bea de Leon block, before Gaston put the finishing touches as Sta. Lucia’s comeback ultimately fell short.

Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro was surprised by how Sta. Lucia fell quickly to his wards, but he nonetheless gave props to the Realtors’ fight, and the Titans’  resolve.

“We didn’t expect it. We know that Sta. Lucia is a contender, and we know that their team operates on a high level,” he said. “Second set, we started slow, but good thing we stepped up and adjusted.”

“As I’ve said, every game is a must win. Every game, we should be learning towards the next games. This is a big thing because it’s a single round [robin] and [Sta. Lucia] is one of the contenders here.”

No Lady Realtor cracked double-digits in scoring, with Reyes and Jonah Sabete chipping in 9 points apiece. MJ Phillips was also shut down, and only mustered 7 markers.

Choco Mucho will look to make it three straight wins on Sunday, July 25, as they face the debuting Perlas Spikers, who have had their games suspended due to isolation protocols.

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia tentatively has a comeback chance on Monday against the Black Mamba Army Lady Troopers. However, next week’s schedule will likely be tweaked to reintegrate Perlas’ games. – Rappler.com

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