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Choco Mucho, PLDT stay dominant, rout foes to share PVL No. 1 spot with Creamline

MANILA, Philippines, April 3 ------ The Choco Mucho Flying Titans’ redemption run continues weeks after their first loss in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference, this time blowing out the Galeries Tower Highrisers, 25-13, 25-19, 25-17, to start a new winning streak. 


Reigning MVP Sisi Rondina squeezed out 16 points in just three sets, backstopped by 12 points from middle blocker Cherry Nunag off 7 attacks, 3 aces, and 2 blocks, as last conference’s silver medalists rose to a 6-1 record for a share of first place. Not to be outdone, the PLDT High Speed Hitters likewise barged to the top for a 6-1 standings triple tie with defending champion Creamline after a 25-17, 25-20, 25-19 rout of the reeling Akari Chargers. Resurgent middle blocker Majoy Baron led PLDT’s fourth straight win with 13 points off 8 attacks, 3 aces, and 2 blocks, while team top scorer Savi Davison chipped in 11. 


Wary of falling into complacency amid a red-hot run, PLDT head coach Rald Ricafort took it upon himself to keep his players’ condition in tiptop shape after the Holy Week break. “We asked players to sacrifice a bit and shorten their breaks. We knew Akari was strong so we went back to practice on Saturday instead of resting for longer,” he said in Filipino. “We were able to maximize the three days heading to this game.” “We always look for better execution, that’s a given, but we also want to handle pressure better, like our [five-set win] against Choco Mucho. That’s what we need against the strong teams, since the skills are pretty much even,” he added. 


Choco Mucho head coach Dante Alinsunurin likewise wanted the best to come out of all his players and expressed his delight that they performed up to his standards in the win against Galeries. “Of course, I’m happy again with our performance. I’m thankful that all the players we fielded delivered, including [setter] Deanna [Wong] who’s slowly getting her rhythm back in playing,” he said in Filipino. “Hopefully, this level of play continues where we can field anyone in the team because late in games, we really need those kinds of situations to go well. Again, I’m thankful of the result today,” he added. 


Libero Alyssa Eroa paced the Highrisers’ descent down a 2-5 record after a two-game winning streak with 14 excellent digs and 6 excellent receptions, while Akari – also with a similar 2-5 slate – got modest contributions from Dindin Santiago-Manabat (9 points) and substitute Erika Raagas (8 points). 




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