Home Sports Choco Mucho gives bench valuable minutes to prepare for playoffs

Choco Mucho gives bench valuable minutes to prepare for playoffs

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Choco Mucho Flying Titans

Choco Mucho Flying Titans —PVL

Even when fighting a relative league lightweight, Choco Mucho did not sway from its game plan—it just relied on different people to carry it out.

And this was by design.

The Flying Titans’ 25-15, 25-16, 25-21 triumph over Capital1 on Saturday at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex here in Laguna province served as coach Dante Alinsunurin’s testing ground for his wards’ readiness to perform once their number is called.

And the deep end of his roster did not fail him.

“As I’ve said, in terms of our need for players when in crucial times, we have players ready to step up,” Alinsunurin said as Choco Mucho bolstered its place in the Final Four with its seventh win in eight games.

Alinsunurin also used the match to reinsert former lead playmaker Deanna Wong back into the starting unit for the first time this conference, in place of new Flying Titans chief setter Mars Alba. He even gave Maika Ortiz the opportunity to play the entire third set.

Royse Tubino filled in the gap left by Kat Tolentino, whom Alinsunurin said is still recovering from an undisclosed sickness, and started in all of the sets. At some point during the deciding frame, the veteran coach even fielded in Jem Ferrer.

Familiar names

But the level of Choco Mucho’s game did not drop despite Alinsunurin reaching deep into his roster.

“It’s really more of the system that we follow that allows anyone of us who is fielded in to do the job,” Wong said in Filipino.

“I am happy to have been able to play again, slowly,” she added.

It was the familiar names that still wound up leading the Flying Titans’ charge. But they didn’t have to do much. Sisi Rondina lifted last conference’s silver medalists with 13 points, Isa Molde added nine while Maddie Madayag and Cherry Nunag scattered eight points each to eliminate the Solar Spikers (1-7).

Choco Mucho, riding on a three-game winning streak, gained the solo lead in the standings with the victory. But the Flying Titans know they can’t get too comfortable up there because lurking just a game behind is defending champion Creamline, which lost in the nightcap to Petro Gazz, 15-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-19, 15-13.

Akari triumphs

Choco Mucho will meet another team at the bottom in Strong Group next Saturday at PhilSports Arena before an anticipated Finals rematch against sister team Creamline. The team will end its preliminary assignment against Farm Fresh.

It’s not the toughest of stretches, but the Flying Titans won’t let go of its tenacity as they prepare for the pressure-packed matches ahead.

“We won’t stop [preparing] no matter who we face; we will be ready every time,” Alinsunurin said. “We will do our best in training so when game time comes, our adjustment will only be minimal.

“We will just continue what we [are doing] because our goal has not changed since the beginning,” he added. “Every day we do our best in training and whatever we reach now in the eliminations we will replicate in the playoffs to get our goal.”

In other games here in Sta. Rosa, Akari kept its dimming semifinal hopes alive after eliminating Galeries Tower, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20.



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Dindin Santiago-Manabat had 16 points to power the Chargers to a 3-5 record, keeping them mathematically in the race for a semifinal seat.





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