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Rondina looks to build connection with Alba

Choco Mucho faced adversity to start their campaign with seasoned setter Deanna Wong sidelined due to a nagging knee injury. 

The spotlight, however, turned to new playmaker Mars Alba, who proved to be a crucial asset in the Flying Titans' intense battle against Petro Gazz on Tuesday night.

Despite Wong being in uniform, head coach Dante Alinsunurin opted to start with Alba as the team's playmaker. 

Wong made cameo appearances, injecting new looks during the five-set nail-biter that ultimately saw Choco Mucho emerge victorious with a 24-26, 25-22, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 scoreline.

In only their second game playing together in the PVL, Flying Titans' star Sisi Rondina expressed satisfaction with the burgeoning connection between her and Alba. 

Despite occasional miscommunications, Rondina gracefully accepted responsibility, recognizing that Alba is still adjusting to the team dynamic.

Rondina, who contributed 24 points and 22 excellent receptions to the win, emphasized her encouragement to Alba, stating, "I just told Mars to lift her head. If I'm in front, don't worry if I make a mistake; it's not your fault."

Alba, a recent addition to Choco Mucho in January following the disbandment of F2 Logistics, showcased her skills with 25 excellent sets in the win against the Angels. 

This led to a balanced scoring effort, with five Flying Titans players reaching double digits.

Taking accountability for the learning curve, Rondina explained, "I really take the blame because, of course, she's still new to our team. She's finding ways to connect, and tonight, I saw that we connected."

While Alba recognizes her ongoing adjustment to the team, she acknowledges the need to catch up and synchronize with the squad's established rhythm. 

"I'm getting used to it, but I still feel lacking because I really need to catch up. I'm the only new one inside, so I need to catch up with their system and movements inside and connect more," shared the youthful playmaker.

As the Flying Titans navigate this early-season challenge, the emergence of Alba as a reliable setter provides a silver lining, signaling potential growth and cohesion for Choco Mucho in the forthcoming battles of the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

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