Tolentino stars as Choco Mucho escapes Bali Pure for joint first

Tolentino stars as Choco Mucho escapes Bali Pure for joint first

BACARRA, Ilocos Norte — Kat Tolentino unleashed her best game thus far as Choco Mucho survived a pesky Bali Pure, 25-23, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21, on Friday to seize a share of the lead with Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic & Cultural Center here.

The crisp-hitting Tolentino was hitting it from all corners, firing 25 points to propel the Flying Titans to their fifth straight victory in as many games and reclaim joint first with the Cool Smashers.

Creamline could regain the solo lead if it wins over Chery Tiggo, which was being played at press time. A loss by Creamline though would catapult Choco Mucho straight to the top.

Choco Mucho coach Oliver Alamdro said his team responded to Bali Pure's challenge.

“Alam naman natin Bali Pure since the tournament started, they’re so resilient,” said Almadro. “Na challenge kami and ‘yun maganda sa mga player, they accepted the challenge especially Kat and Denden.”

Almadro was referring to Tolentino, who delivered her highest scoring game to date, and libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla, who anchored her teams’ floor defense with a match-best 31 digs and a team-high 10 receptions.

After a closely fought first two sets that went 1-1, Tolentino went on attack mode as Choco Mucho dominated the third set and showed composure in the fourth to weather Bali Pure’s desperate effort to snatch the set and force a decider.

Fittingly, it was Tolentino who delivered the final blow with her powerful spike–her 23rd in the match.

For Pongay Gaston, one of the leaders in the team, there is still a room for improvement.

“We’re really glad that we won and we’re going to take the win. Pero from the looks of our performance, we know there’s so many things we need to work on,” said Gaston, who was watched by her father, Games and Amusements Board consultant Fritz.

“We’re gonna use this as a lesson para makapag angat pa kami ng laro, syempre palakas ng palakas laban ngayon because we still have many games,” she added.

The Water Defenders skidded to 2-3 (win-loss).

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