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Choco Mucho Makes Historic Run to PVL Finals, Set to Battle Creamline

For the first time since joining the Premier Volleyball League in 2019, the Choco Mucho Flying Titans will experience playing for the championship in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL). Choco Mucho reached the 2023 PVL second All-Filipino conference final after disposing of a gritty Cignal squad, 25-20, 23-25, 26-24, 25-23, in Game 3 of the semifinals on Tuesday.
As the two teams fought for their lives, the game ended on a challenge by Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos in hopes of keeping the HD Spikers alive. With the Flying Titans already at match point in the fourth frame, 24-23, Vanie Gandler’s attack sailed out but Delos Santos called for a challenge and said there was a block touch on the Flying Titans’ camp. But even before the game was officially called, Sisi Rondina, who scored 21 points for the Flying Titans in the clincher, already knew the Finals ticket was theirs.
“I thought what they (Cignal) challenged was an in/out. That’s where I got nervous so I hoped that it was a block/touch challenge because the bench said there was none (touch). So when I saw [the replay], I thought it’s done,” explained an ecstatic Rondina.
Coach Dante Alinsunurin, meanwhile, said it wasn’t just Cignal”s unsuccessful challenge that got them the victory but also the season-long grind that his players have been on. “Our desire to win and take Game 3 just showed up today. You can see with what they’re working on that every time there’s a game, their fatigue is paid off,” said Alinsunurin.
With the score tied at 15-all, Choco Mucho went on a small 4-2 spurt, capped off by a crosscourt kill from Rondina, which would turn out to be the cushion it would need until the end. The Flying Titans gave the HD Spikers an inch to breathe and let them pull within 23-31 after Bea De Leon’s service was overcooked.
Kat Tolentino, who finished with 17 points, brought Choco Mucho to match point which began the tension-filled final minutes of the match. Nunag and Maddie Madayag helped Alinsunurin’s cause with 12 points each while Isa Molde poured in 10 points in the rubber match dub. Gandler’s 20-point outburst was put to waste in the same manner that Ces Molina’s 19 points were all for naught.

Post-game interview: Choco Mucho’s Kat Tolentino, coach Dante Alinsunurin and Sisi Rondina

WATCH: Choco Mucho’s Kat Tolentino, coach Dante Alinsunurin and Sisi Rondina after pushing the Flying Titans to their first-ever #PVL2023 Finals appearance. | via Melo Fuertes READ MORE: Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, December 12, 2023