(UPDATED) Choco Mucho settled for sixth place in the 2021 Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship, after losing in straight sets to Kazakhstan club Zhetysu on Thursday afternoon at the Terminal 21 competition hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Zhetysu fended off a strong fightback by Choco Mucho in the third set to come away with a 25-14, 25-11, 25-23 triumph.
The Kazakh club finished in fifth place in the tournament.
The Filipinas got off to an error-prone start that allowed Zhetysu to win comfortably in the opening frame. In Set 2, the Kazakhs superb defense limited Team Choco Mucho to just two attack points, while they scored 12 kills of their own.
The third set was a far more competitive affair, with Team Choco Mucho staying neck and neck with Zhetysu before the Kazakhs pulled away after the second technical timeout.
Back to back hitting errors by Kalei Mau and a running hit by Zhetysu's Diouf Mame Fatou pushed the Kazakhs' lead to seven points, 22-15.
But Team Choco Mucho roared back, winning eight of the next nine rallies to knot the count at 23. Mau had a highlight reel block on Fatou, and the Filipinas were helped by attack errors from Zhetysu's 20-year-old star Tatyana Nikitina.
Ria Meneses nailed two consecutive hits from the middle to tie the set at 23, forcing the Kazakhs into a timeout.
Zhetysu showed its poise in the end game, however. Valeriya Chumak fired off a quick hit to put her club at match point, and off a timeout, Mau's attack hit the tape of the net to gift the Kazakhs with the winner.
This was Zhetysu's second win over Choco Mucho in the competition, after winning their group round game 25-22, 25-19, 25-15.
Team Choco Mucho wrapped up its campaign with a 1-4 win-loss record. Their lone win came on Wednesday against fellow Philippine side Team Rebisco, a result that meant Rebisco finished the competition in seventh and last place.