MANILA, Philippines – With victories of 25 to 11, 25 to 20, and 25 to 19, Choco Mucho demonstrated its signature class and skill, leaving the Nxled team perplexed about how to finish matches. This resulted in a packed ranking in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The hot-headed Flying Titans, who had lost to the Creamline Cool Smashers in four sets on October 15, used a strong first set to seize control and then used a powerful closing push in the third to complete their fourth consecutive shutout victory. Between, the crowd favorites gave it their all to crush any hopes the Chameleons might have had after a close second set most of the way through.
In fact, it appeared as though the third set would end in mayhem when Camille Victoria leveled the score with a two-handed dump after scoring on a push to bring the Chameleons back to within one, 18-19.
Regina Mangulablan was forced to cross over to apologize after Kat Tolentino’s unmolested spike struck her face, causing the Chameleons to fall short once more, just as they had in several other Nxled stretch-run meltdowns in previous games.
But Isa Molde was thinking of other things
Aduke Ogunsanya’s dump put the Flying Titans at match point, but Tolentino’s off-the-block hit and dropball put the former UP mainstay up for two straight points in response.
The Chameleons battled their highly anticipated opponents in a series of exchanges in an attempt to avert the inevitable loss, but Sisi Rondina’s unimpressive back row attack ended the 73-minute match when it hit the top of the net and fell into an open area in the center of Nxled’s fort.
Although the Chameleons made more blocks (6-3), the Flying Titans accomplished 47 attack points to their 33. Additionally, the Chameleons committed too many unforced errors, which allowed Choco Mucho to score 24 points.
The Flying Titans, on the other hand, only allowed nine points to be scored off errors.
The game’s best player, Deanna Wong, outperformed her opponent Kamille Cal, who had just eight excellent sets; Rondina, with 16 points, once again led the way for Choco Mucho.
The Flying Titans, who will next play the Akari Chargers on Saturday, finished with Molde scoring nine markers, Tolentino, Ogunsanya, and Cherry Nunag all scoring six points apiece, and middles Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon scoring four and three points, respectively.
After overwhelming Gerflor in three games on October 15, Nxled suffered its fourth straight loss. Jho Maraguinot led the team with 14 points, while Judith Abil finished with 11 markers. Lycha Ebon struggled to score six points, and Victoria and May Luna each contributed three points.