April 14, 2024

PVL: Mars Alba steps up for Choco Mucho in Deanna Wong's absence

PVL: Mars Alba steps up for Choco Mucho in Deanna Wong
Mars Alba shoulders the playmaking duty for Choco Mucho in its first match against Nxled in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference on Thursday, Feb. 22. | Photo (c) RM Chua

In Choco Mucho's 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference campaign opener against Nxled on Thursday, main setter Deanna Wong was sidelined due to a nagging knee injury.

Mars Alba stepped up to the plate in Wong's absence, orchestrating the Flying Titans' offense en route to a three-set, 25-12, 25-22, 25-18, beating of the Chameleons in her debut.

"Siyempre po, mayroong [pressure] pero ginamit ko na lang ‘yun as a challenge kasi siyempre, hindi naman mahirap ‘yung ipi-fill in kong position given na last conference, silver medalist sila," said Alba, who previously suited up for the disbanded F2 Logistics.

[RELATED STORY: PVL: Wong-less Choco Mucho crushes Nxled, opens redemption bid on right track]

Alba flicked 18 excellent sets, deftly activating the vaunted offense of Choco Mucho. 

Sisi Rondina made the most out of the former UAAP Finals MVP's on-point assists as she came through with 16 attacks for a game-high 17 points.

Kat Tolentino reaped the benefits as well, producing 12 markers for the Flying Titans, who overwhelmed the Chameleons with a 45-28 spiking diffential.

For such a reliable showing, Alba feels grateful for the team's collective trust.

"Siyempre, thank you kay Lord. Thank you sa mga coaching staff and teammates na nagtiwala sa’kin," said Alba, who also netted the Best Setter recognition in the collegiate level last year.

Alba also said that Wong has been a positive factor in her first game with Choco Mucho.

"Thankful din ako kay Deanna kasi gina-guide niya ako throughout this game," she said.

Not one to shy away from opportunities, Alba is willing to put in the work to help the Flying Titans in their title-redemption quest.

"For me, thankful ako na nabigyan ako ng ganitong opportunity. Susundin ko lang ‘yung sistema nila coach kasi bago lang din ako, eh. So, lahat ng puwede kong ibigay and puwede kong maitulong sa team, gagawin ko," she said.

Alba, who is now donning a jersey in her favorite color, is just happy to be in her new home.

"Nakakapanibago and happy kasi favorite color ko ‘yung purple, eh," she said.

Alba and the Flying Titans would now gear up for their next assignment against opening day winner Petro Gazz Angels on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.