Choco Mucho dumps Army to bolster semis bid

Choco Mucho survived an opening set scare before it thumped struggling United Auctioneers-Army, 26-24, 25-10, 25-17, to boost its semifinal bid in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Kat Tolentino scores for Choco Mucho in their PVL Reinforced Conference against United Auctioneers-Army. (PVL Images)

Import Odina Aliyeva pumped in 20 points on 17 kills, two blocks and one ace to spearhead the Flying Titans in snapping their two-game slide and improving their win-loss tally to 3-3.

It was also the first match of Choco Mucho under coach Edjet Mabbayad, who filled in the shoes of Oliver Almadro after the latter stepped down from his post.

“Siyempre sa una mabigat yung feeling nung pagbabago, pero sinabi ko na lang sa mga players na mag-focus na lang sila sa game,” said Mabbayad.

The Flying Titans asserted their might in the second frame where they pulled away from a 14-6 lead to a commanding 21-10 advantage courtesy of Aliyeva and Kat Tolentino.

Choco Mucho maintained its composure and dictated the pace in the third set despite persistent attempts of Royse Tubino, import Laura Condotta and Jovelyn Gonzaga for Army.

Tolentino chipped in 14 points for the Flying Titans, including 11 spikes and two aces.

“I think winning three sets showed how strong the team we are. We are going into the next few games with the same confidence,” Tolentino said.

Choco Mucho needed one hour and 25 minutes to demolish Army, exposing its rivals’ lethargic offense by firing 44 kills compared to the Lady Troopers’ dismal 12 attacks.

Army also managed only one block and one ace throughout the match.

Tubino finished with 13 points for the Lady Troopers, who absorbed their sixth straight defeat.