PVL: Choco Mucho kicks off new season with sweep of Nxled

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Sisi Rondina and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Despite still feeling each other out after adding a few pieces to its roster, Choco Mucho remained a force to be reckoned with to start the new Premier Volleyball League (PVL) conference.

Behind the powerful Sisi Rondina and Mars Alba, the Flying Titans blasted Nxled, 25-12, 25-22, 25-18 to open their PVL campaign strong on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Arena.

Rondina and Alba, Choco Mucho’s newest setter, found their connection just in time.

“Mars and I rarely connect during training so I said ‘maybe when game time comes, in transition, we will eventually get it,” Rondina told the Inquirer after leading her team to a strong opening win with 17 points mostly on attacks.

“‘Don’t get pressured because you toss the ball in a certain way or I hit the ball in a certain way because I am also adjusting to you,’” the reigning Most Valuable Player added.

Alba, the former UAAP Finals MVP and best setter immediately made her impact for Choco Mucho, distributing a game-high 18 excellent sets to spoil Ivy Lacsina’s debut with the Chameleons.

“I am happy because we are slowly adjusting to each other which is good because it’ll help our connection,” Rondina said.

Despite still recovering from a knee injury, Lacsina debuted for Nxled and chipped in six points all from attacks.

Kat Tolentino also helped the Flying Titans notch their first win of the season contributing 12 points while Cherry Nunag added 10 points in the sweep.

Getting there

PVL: Mars Alba determined to contribute more for Choco Mucho

Choco Mucho setter Mars Alba in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Alba, who joined F2 Logistics a few months before the team’s disbandment,  is thankful for the trust that she has been receiving from her new team, which is hoping to build on its silver finish last conference.

“I still have a lot to adjust given that I am only new to the team. I am still feeling out coach’s system, but I am getting there,” Alba said, who is also grateful to be immediately on the starting lineup.

“I am thankful to be given this kind of opportunity and I will just follow the system of the coaches … I will give everything that I can to help the team,” she added as she filled in the role of Deanna Wong who is dealing with a knee injury.

Thang Ponce, last conference’s best libero, guarded the floor well with 18 excellent digs.

“As early as the first set we were dictating the tempo until the end although there were times that Nxled managed to close the gap, we still tried to perform well,” coach Dante Alinsunurin said.

Choco Mucho, however, lost Aduke Ogunsanya after a bad landing that tweaked her left knee late in the final frame which will cause additional concern for the Flying Titans who lamented their manpower problems last conference.

Ogunsanya, who still walked off the court after the accident, just came from an ACL injury in her right knee more than a year ago while another Titan in Des Cheng is also recovering from her ACL injury from last year.



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“We are sad because we still don’t know what happened to Aduke but what’s important for us is to know what we need to do,” Alinsunurin added.

Choco Mucho faces another revamped squad in Petro Gazz back stopped by Filipino-American Brooke van Sickle on Tuesday at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.





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