PVL: Despite twice-to-beat bonus, Almadro wary of PLDT

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2022 06:14 PM

Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro. PVL Media Bureau.
Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro. PVL Media Bureau.

MANILA - There can be no complacency for the Choco Mucho Flying Titans when they take on the PLDT High Speed Hitters in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.

This, according to head coach Oliver Almadro, who is admittedly wary of the High Speed Hitters. 

"Mag-aaral pa rin kami, and we will be preparing for PLDT. You know naman na, beefed up team din 'yun, ang lalaki, and maganda 'yung kinikilos nila recently," said Almadro.

"So we really have to prepare for that," he stressed.

The High Speed Hitters finished in third place in Pool B with a 1-2 win-loss record. They were among the busiest teams in the offseason, adding 11 new players and hiring George Pascua as their new coach.

Working in Choco Mucho's favor is that they are armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, thanks to a hard-earned triumph against F2 Logistics in their final pool phase game last Thursday.

Desiree Cheng delivered clutch shots, and Deanna Wong had 44 excellent sets in their 21-25, 28-26, 25-20, 25-22 victory against the Cargo Movers. The win gave the Flying Titans a 3-1 record in Pool A, as well as the final playoff bonus that was at stake in the game.

Almadro acknowledged that getting the twice-to-beat bonus against a team as dangerous as PLDT is crucial, but it doesn't guarantee an "instant win."

"Mahirap din 'yung makakalaban namin, mabigat din," he warned.

Aside from their twice-to-beat edge, Almadro is also counting on the experience they gained during the pool phase to fuel them in the playoffs. The Flying Titans were in a "pool of death," as they also played against unbeaten Cignal HD (4-0), defending champion Chery Tiggo, and veteran-laden Army Black Mamba.

"Ang importante kasi, 'yung nakalaban namin sa bracket namin are great teams, so great teams will just push us forward," said Almadro.

"Nakita namin are great teams, so great teams will just push us forward. So, nakita niyo naman 'yung F2, 'yung kalaban namin, 'yung Cignal, 'yung Chery Tiggo tsaka 'yung Army, talagang matitibay din sila," he added.

"So, ginawa namin, kinollate lang namin kung ano 'yung natutunan namin each and every game. So, 'yun ang pinaka-importante."

Choco Mucho will play PLDT in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.