Choco Mucho engineered an impressive comeback from a 0-2 deficit to triumph over Suwon City in a five-set match, with scores of 16-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17, and 15-11 at the 2023 VTV Cup held at Lao Cai Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
The Flying Titans secured the third seed position in the preliminary round with a 3-2 record. Their playoff spot had already been secured prior to the match, following Kansai University of Social Welfare's defeat against Vietnam 1 the day before.
In a tense decider tied at 9-all, Yuni Choi's attack sailed wide, and then Sisi Rondina scored consecutively with a cross-court hit and a block. This propelled Choco Mucho to a 12-9 lead. Yuni made up for her mistake with a scoring block, but a net violation by Yu-Li Jeong and another error on their side granted the Rebisco-backed squad a match point. Young-In Yoon's block saved a point for Suwon, but Rondina promptly closed the set with a block.
The Flying Titans managed to overcome a difficult start, dropping the first two sets before rallying in the next two to force a decider.
During the first set, Choco Mucho stayed competitive, but the Koreans broke an 8-all tie, establishing a 21-13 lead through the contributions of Yeon-Jae Lee, Hyun-Ji Kim, and Do-Ah Kim. The PVL squad struggled to recover, resulting in Suwon securing a 1-0 set advantage.
In the second set, the Flying Titans found themselves trailing 20-22, but Rondina's powerful hits brought them within one point at 22-23. Nonetheless, Suwon clinched a 2-0 lead over the Filipinas.
Choco Mucho made a remarkable comeback in the third set, securing a narrow 17-15 advantage before Rondina initiated a 5-1 surge that left the Koreans trailing at 22-16. Deanna Wong and Cherry Nunag then sealed the set to get their team on the scoreboard.
The same intensity carried into the fourth set as the Flying Titans established a commanding 23-15 lead over Suwon, drawing closer to forcing a fifth set. Once again, Nunag made a significant contribution, scoring with a quick hit, and Des Cheng finalized the set.
Choco Mucho is set to face the second-ranked team from the preliminary round in the Final Four on Friday.