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PLDT, Choco Mucho eye strong start vs Galeries, Nxled

It’s PLDT and Choco Mucho’s turn to showcase their prowess as they face Galeries Tower and Nxled, respectively, in the second eliminations playdate of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City on Thursday.

Despite the absence of their injured top middle Mika Reyes for the entire season, the High Speed Hitters are determined to maintain their formidable presence, especially with the addition of Majoy Baron to the team’s rotation, which includes Dell Palomata, Jessey de Leon and Rachel Austero.

“Sakto naman nga kasi si Majoy (Baron) naman yung pumalit so kahit papaano kung hindi ‘man better pa, okay naman din. Tapos nandun pa naman si (Jessey) De Leon at (Rachel) Austero,” said PLDT head coach Rald Ricafort, whose wards placed fifth in the second AFC last year.

But after ending up second-to-last in the 12-team field the last time out, there is no way to go for the Highrisers but up with former NCAA MVP Shola Alvarez and Roma Joy Doromal spearheading the team’s charge in their 3 p.m. encounter with the High Speed Hitters.

On the other hand, last conference’s finalist, Choco Mucho, is all geared up for its clash with Nxled at 5 p.m.

Reigning MVP and prolific Sisi Rondina, while cautious about the competition, emphasized the team’s commitment to hard work and coach Dante Alinsunurin’s guidance, saying: “Wala kaming expectations kasi ang daming teams.”

She also acknowledged the unpredictable nature of the conference.

“Sabi nga, bilog ang bola. Hindi natin malalaman kung ano ‘yung takbo ng conference ngayon pero sisiguraduhin po namin na magta-trabaho kami at siyempre ipapakita po namin kung ano ‘yung mga itinuturo ni coach Dante (Alinsunurin),” said Rondina, who will be backstopped by twin towers Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino.

Still, PLDT and Choco Mucho are expected to overcome their initial challenges, following the impressive performances of Petro Gazz and Chery Tiggo in the opening day of the conference organized by Sports Vision.

The talent-laden Angels secured a decisive victory over the Strong Group Athletics, 25-12, 25-20, 25-12, while the Crossovers clobbered the Capital1 Solar Spikers, 25-6, 25-15, 25-15, at the Philspors Arena in Pasig City Tuesday.

Fans can catch the action on free-to-air on One Sports, in HD on One Sports+, as well as on the PVL’s official website ( and the Pilipinas Live app. Global coverage includes the new free-to-air channel – RPTV.

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