May 24, 2024

PVL: Sisi Rondina, Choco Mucho escape Petro Gazz in five sets for win no. 2

PVL: Sisi Rondina, Choco Mucho escape Petro Gazz in five sets for win no. 2
Sisi Rondina takes charge as Choco Mucho outlasts Petro Gazz in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference. | Photo (c) PVL.

Choco Mucho averted disaster, outlasting Petro Gazz in five grueling sets, 24-26, 25-22, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13, to carve out its second straight win in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference at the PhilSports Arena Tuesday night.

The Flying Titans managed to escape with the victory, recovering from a fourth-set meltdown and thwarting the late Angels fightback in the decider.

Sisi Rondina churned out 24 points and 22 receptions to help Choco Mucho weather a Jonah Sabete's 29-point storm.

Rondina, the reigning league MVP, took charge in the decisive fifth frame, where she hammered a differential hit and gave the Flying Titans a 13-7 edge.

The Angels, however, would not go down without a fight. 

Brooke Van Sickle and Sabete connived to slice the deficit down to 9-13. Though Kat Tolentino put Choco Mucho at match point, Regine Arocha committed an eight-second violation from the service line, instigating a Petro Gazz surge. 

Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Remy Palma nailed consecutive blows before Sabete nailed a through-the-block attack that allowed the Angels to knock to within a point, 13-14.

In the ensuing sequence, Marian Buitre botched a service attempt to put an anti-climactic conclusion to a thrilling contest.

"Hanggang ngayon medyo nag iisip pa rin kung bakit nangyari 'yun sa sitwasyon kasi marami kaming chance na pwedeng matapos na pero sabi ko nga hindi madaling ibibigay para sa amin. Thankful pa rin kami na kahit papaano, bandang huli, nakuha pa rin namin ang panalo, although hindi naging galing samin 'yung last point," Choco Mucho head coach Dante Alinsunurin said.

Tolentino made her presence felt with 17 points built on 13 attacks and four blocks, while Isa Molde also had four rejections on her way to 12 markers.

Maddie Madayag and Cherry Nunag contributed 11 points each, while Mars Alba fanned out 25 excellent sets.

Choco Mucho held a 20-16 edge in the fourth canto but saw its scoring go adrift, leaving the door open for Petro Gazz to move ahead, 24-23. 

Tolentino managed to equalize before coughing out a crucial service error, setting up Van Sickle's down-the-line hit that forged a fifth set. 

However, the Angels did not have enough firepower in the end, falling to a 1-1 record.

Behind Sabete's game-high output, Van Sickle had an all-around effort of 18 points, 22 digs and 15 receptions.

Maizo-Pontillas finished with 15 markers that went for naught.

Choco Mucho aims to stretch its unbeaten run to three when it faces Chery Tiggo, while Petro Gazz tries to barge back into the winning column when it collides with PLDT on March 2, Saturday, at the PhilSports Arena.