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No reversals: Choco Mucho keeps guard up, forces semis decider over with Cignal sweep

JR Isaga

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No reversals: Choco Mucho keeps guard up, forces semis decider over with Cignal sweep

BOMBING. Choco Mucho spiker Sisi Rondina attempts an attack over the Cignal defense in the 2023 PVL Second All-Filipino Conference semifinals

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PVL MVP candidate Sisi Rondina and resurgent star Kat Tolentino form a deadly 1-2 punch to lift Choco Mucho past Cignal and force an All-Filipino semifinals winner-take-all Game 3

MANILA, Philippines – Choco Mucho bit back the pain of a PVL semifinals Game 1 reverse sweep loss to Cignal and eked out a 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 Game 2 blanking at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, December 9, forcing a winner-take-all decider for an All-Filipino finals spot.

MVP candidate Sisi Rondina powered the Flying Titans with 23 big points off 20 attacks, 2 blocks, and 1 ace, while resurgent opposite spiker Kat Tolentino added 15 on 13 spikes and 2 rejections.

Facing the looming threat of another possible reversal after netting a two-set lead, Choco Mucho steeled its nerves in the endgame, breaking away late to move within one win of a long-awaited franchise breakthrough podium berth.

“We went into this game with the mindset that we’d bounce back from our Game 1 loss,” said Choco Mucho head coach Dante Alinsunurin in Filipino, referring to his team’s gutting collapse last Thursday, December 7, after also being up two sets early.

“The players really delivered. Credit goes to them because they really worked from the first point until the end. We had some struggles, but we were able to adjust and we’re thankful we got this Game 2.”

Still down 17-18 late in the third, Rondina and Tolentino took the leadership reins to correct the team’s course and combined for 6 points in a pivotal 7-1 run to mount an insurmountable 24-19 advantage.

While Cignal managed to save three match points, veteran Jovelyn Gonzaga unceremoniously ended her team’s comeback with a crucial service error that gave away the win to Choco Mucho for good.

With her costly error, Gonzaga saw her team-high 13 points go to waste in the loss, while Ces Molina and Ria Meneses scored 11 apiece.

Game 3 of the series is set on Tuesday, December 12, 6 pm, at the same venue. – Rappler.com

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