The Choco Mucho Flying Titans slipped past the Balipure Purest Water Defenders on Friday, 25-23, 23-25, 25-15, 25-21, to stay unbeaten at the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
After surrendering a tight second set, the Flying Titans caught fire in the third before fending off the Water Defenders' threat in the fourth to join the Creamline Cool Smashers at top of the standings with a 5-0 win-loss card.
Kat Tolentino was in her usual element, firing 25 big points in the games. Bea de Leon and Ponggay Gaston contributed 10 and 9 markers, respectively.
“Balipure played well, na-challenge kami and 'yun ang maganda sa mga player, they accepted the challenge, especially Kat and Denden. So talagang marami pa ding bagay-bagay na kailangang maging consistent and fluid pa,” head coach Oliver Almadro said.
Carrying the momentum from a dominating 25-15 win in the third set, Choco Mucho established an early lead in the fourth after Gaston’s back-to-back kills, 13-8.
The two teams then exchanged a series of errors but the Flying Titans held on to the advantage, 15-12.
The Water Defenders moved closer after Gen Casugod scored an ace, 14-16, but it was their lapses anew that gave Choco Mucho a 21-17 lead.
Balipure tried to play catch up down the stretch after Graze Bombita’s attack and a combination play from Roselle Baliton put them at 21-22, forcing Almadro to call a timeout.
The Flying Titans heaved a sigh of relief as their foes tallied another error before Tolentino punctuated the match.
Bombita paced Balipure with 15 points, while Casugod registered 10 markers but their team gave away a whopping 38 free points to the Flying Titans.