MANILA, Philippines – Sisi Rondina continued to provide Choco Mucho with firepower as libero Thang Ponce steadily helped defeat Petro Gazza 18-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-16 for a sixth straight victory in the second All-Filipino Conference Premier Volleyball League (PVL) 2023.
Rondina scored 17 points and Ponce helped the Flying Titans recover from a first-set loss – which meant they dropped a set for the first time in their last five matches – after they started play on the wrong foot on Thursday, with poor serve and reception.
“In the first set, the problem was our reception. But I encourage them to keep working until we find our rhythm in receiving the ball. Our defense and blocking on the court helped us recover,” Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsunurin said in Filipino.
Ponce stabilized the Choco Mucho defense on the court with 20 digs and nine outstanding receptions as they moved into second place with a 6-1 draw against Chery Tiggo.
“When the coach told us that the problem was tackling. We adjusted and I strengthened our defense, so it was difficult for our opponents to score,” the libero said in Filipino. “We worked really hard for this [winning streak]”
Alinsunurin was happy that Ponce was repaying her trust with consistent performances in the last six matches.
“When I gave her a chance and she was able to prove herself, I told her not to give up on this opportunity. But I know he can. I am impressed that she repays the trust placed in her. It is very important for us that she performs well in every match, because our system starts with defense on the court. He also gives energy to his teammates,” said coach Choco Mucho.
Rondina also helped Ponce defend the floor, making 10 receptions and nine digs for Choco Mucho. Kat Tolentino scored 13 points, including two aces. Isa Molde scored 10 points. Setter Deanna Wong dished out 13 standout sets with two blocks, and middle blockers Maddie Madayag and Cherry Nunag added nine hits.
On Tuesday at Philsports Arena, Choco Mucho will face skidding F2 Logistics (4-4).
After winning the first four matches, Petro Gazz overcame a fourth straight defeat and dropped to a 4-4 draw with F2 in sixth place.
Grethcel Soltones led the Angels with 19 points. Jonah Sabete scored 18 points and nine steals, and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas added 12 points past point guard Djanel Cheng and middle blocker Ranya Musa.