Choco Mucho gave no chance to stain their perfect record against the debuting Perlas spikers, winning a straight three-set, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20, at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Barra, Ilocos Norte bubble yesterday.

/ 26 July 2021

The battle between Choco Mucho and Perlas has been due for days since all delegates waited for the officials of the open conference to clear Perlas free of COVID-19 after one of its non-playing staff tested positive, and for Perlas to complete their quarantined arrangement. 

Indeed, each team pounced everything they’ve got in every set and as the game concluded, Pauline Gaston and Katrina Tolentino scored nine points each, eight points from Maddie Madayag, and Deanna Wong guided the team with 22 excellent sets and four points. 

Even though the Perlas Spikers started the first set with errors, giving a 0-2 lead to Choco Mucho, the debuting team adjusted as Nunag and Ferrer gave smart attacks and led the team with a 10-6 lead at the early mid-frame.

However, this momentum changed drastically as Ponggay scored two points in a row, followed by a point from Bea De Leon’s smart-placing in the corner of the other court, and despite each team taking turns to attack and score, the Flying Titans’ blockers dominate, and Wong ended the first set with her dump-set.

In the second set, the teams are trying to read each of their gameplay but not long enough, the Flying Titans made an early lead 9-5 and a 16-10 lead at mid-frame as Tolentino released a powerful attack, and nearing the end, after multiple service errors from Perlas Spikers, Choco Mucho was in set-point 24-20 after a net gift service from Doromal, and Tolentino ended the second set by stopping Guino-o’s attack with a 5-point lead. 

The Perlas Spikers tried to recover on the third frame but as arduous it is, the team cannot recover a deficit score ranging from 2-4 along the set, and it is only in the late game where they were able to close the gap with 18-19 lead. 

After a service error from Nunag and a long attack from Nicole Tiamzon, the set ended in favor of Choco Mucho with a 5-point lead. 

Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro applauded the team’s middle player and setter for guiding the team in three straight wins, but he also said that the team should continue to improve since other teams are getting stronger as well. 

Siguro nagkakaroon na ng timing yung middle namin at saka sa setter. But of course, hindi pwedeng tumigil kailangan tuloy tuloy. Lahat ng teams din gumagaling at nagkakaroon ng cohesiveness. So we really have to maximize also yung familiarity namin,” said coach Almadro.