MANILA, Philippines — Sisi Rondina continued to provide the firepower for Choco Mucho while libero Thang Ponce provided a steady presence in beating Petro Gazz, 18-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-16, and earning a sixth straight win in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference.
Rondina poured 17 points while Ponce helped the Flying Titans recover from a first-set loss–which marked the first time they dropped a set since sweeping their last five games–after starting on the wrong foot on Thursday with poor service and reception.
“Our reception was the problem in the first set. But I encourage them to keep on working until we find our rhythm in receiving the ball. Our floor defense and blocking helped us recover,” said Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsunurin in Filipino.
Ponce stabilized Choco Mucho’s floor defense with 20 digs and nine excellent receptions as they rose to the second seed with a 6-1 record tied with Chery Tiggo.
“When the coach told us that our receive was the problem. We adjusted and I tightened my defense so our opponents would have a hard time scoring,” said the libero in Filipino. “We really worked hard for this [winning streak].”
Alinsunurin was glad that Ponce is repaying her trust through her consistent performance in the past six games.
“When I gave her a chance and she was able to prove herself, I told her not to let go of this opportunity. But I know that she can. And I am impressed that she is repaying the confidence and trust given to her. It’s really important for us that she delivers every game because our system starts with floor defense. She also energizes her teammates,” said the Choco Mucho coach.
Rondina also helped Ponce in defending the floor with 10 receptions and nine digs for Choco Mucho. Kat Tolentino had 13 points including two aces. Isa Molde chipped in 10 points. Setter Deanna Wong dished out 13 excellent sets on top of two blocks, as middle blockers Maddie Madayag and Cherry Nunag added nine markers.
Choco Mucho takes on the skidding F2 Logistics (4-4) on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.
After winning its first four games, Petro Gazz absorbed its fourth straight loss and dropped to 4-4 tied with F2 in sixth place.
Grethcel Soltones led the Angels with 19 points. Jonah Sabete had 18 points and nine digs, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas added 12 points as they missed setter Djanel Cheng and middle blocker Ranya Musa.