(UPDATED) Choco Mucho earned a share of the lead in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference after making quick work of Cignal HD, Tuesday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
After an extended first set that took 33 minutes to finish, it was all Choco Mucho the rest of the way as the Flying Titans claimed a 26-24, 25-12, 25-17 triumph.
With the result, Choco Mucho improved to 4-0 in the conference, tying idle Creamline at the top of the team standings. Kat Tolentino led the way for the Flying Titans with 16 points on 14 kills, one block, and one service ace.
"I admire my players," said Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro after the game. "They're really working hard, preparing a lot physically, mentally, and spiritually."
"Nagkakaroon na ng cohesiveness," he said of his team. "But they have to do it right all the time. Kailangan pa maging consistent."
It was a back-and-forth start that saw Cignal HD recover from an early 8-3 deficit and drag the Flying Titans into an extension. Choco Mucho reached set point, 24-23, off a quick hit from the middle by Bea de Leon only for Cignal's Roselyn Doria to match her effort.
But Tolentino put Choco Mucho back on top with a crosscourt hit, before de Leon wrapped up the set with an easy kill off an over-received ball by Cignal HD.
The HD Spikers struggled with their reception all throughout the set and gave away 10 free points off their unforced errors.
With momentum on their side, the Flying Titans cruised in the second and third sets, giving Almadro the chance to send his second stringers in towards the end. A running hit by reserve middle blocker Shannen Palec wrapped up the match after an hour and 25 minutes.
De Leon was the only other Choco Mucho player in double-digits, with 11 points. The Flying Titans put up 44 kills to 32 for the HD Spikers.
No Cignal player reached double digits, with Doria scoring nine points as they lost for the third straight match. The HD Spikers fell to 1-4 in the conference.