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Rondina dazzles as Choco Mucho soars past Nxled

Choco Mucho completed the fancied teams’ romps in the first two playdates of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference elims, blasting Nxled, 25-12, 25-22, 25-18, at the Filoil EcoOil Arena to join Petro Gazz, Chery Tiggo and PLDT at the helm.

Reigning MVP Sisi Rondina displayed her dazzling skills with a remarkable 17-point performance, delivering thundering hits from both wings and the backrow. One highlight was a powerhit hit that ended a lengthy exchange in the third set, extending the team’s lead to 16-10.

Despite her outstanding play, there were moments of challenge, including a backrow attempt that fell short, allowing Nxled to stay in the match at 15-20.

But the Flying Titans withstood the challenge, overcoming adversities, including a concerning injury to player Aduke Ogunsanya.

The injury, sustained during a heated exchange in the third frame, momentarily halted the game as Ogunsanya screamed in pain, her yell reverberating throughout the arena. After a tense moment, she managed to pull herself up and head to the dugout while limping.

The team, however, showed composure and unity, scoring five of the last five points, with Rondina adding crucial plays and new recruit Mars Alba sealing the victory on a 1-2 play.

Alba, filling in for injured playmaker Deanna Wong, produced 18 excellent sets and two points.

Rondina expressed gratitude for Alba’s quick adaptation to the team’s system and reiterated the importance of trust in their collective effort.

“We’re thankful for Mars' entry. Naka-adapt siya agad sa system at hopefully makuha namin ang connection. Malaking tulong siya,” said Rondina, who also finished with 10 excellent digs and two receptions.

“We just have to continue trusting the team’s system at gagawin namin kung ano ang mga pinagagawa sa amin,” she added.

Kat Tolentino and Cherry Nunag also sizzled with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Isa Molde added eight markers and Maddie Madayag finished with five points as the Flying Titans lorded it over the Chameleons in all departments.

They produced 45 attack points against the Chameleons’ 28 and wound up with eight blocks and six aces against their rivals’ four and none, respectively.

Nxled showed up with former F2 Logistics top middle Ivy Lacsina, who debuted with a six-point showing in two sets, while Krich Macaslang topscored for the team with seven markers. Chiara Permentilla and Lycha Ebon both had five points for the Chameleons, who scored 20 points from the Flying Titans’ miscues while yielding 16 unforced errors of their own.

The second AFC finalists last year actually faced challenges in the second frame as the Chameleons kept it close throughout but found ways to re-establish control and eventually pull off the win on their way to the one-hour and 23-minute victory.

It mirrored the triumphs of the Angels and the Crossovers last Tuesday and the High Speed Hitters a couple of hours earlier as the league’s top guns lived up to expectations in the early going of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
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