PVL: Flying Titans soar past W Defenders

Games Saturday
2 p.m. – Motolite vs BanKo-Perlas
4 p.m. – BaliPure vs Chef’s Classics

Young Choco Mucho finally got to unleash its vaunted triple-tower combination of Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon and the Flying Titans rolled past the BaliPure Water Defenders, 25-16, 25-12, 25-16, to press their backdoor semis drive in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

It was Choco Mucho’s second straight win after an alarming five-game skid and though the Flying Titans remained at seventh with a 4-6 card, the victory kept the team’s playoff hopes alive with just a game or two separating the second to sixth teams.

Tolentino, the league’s leading scorer with a 20-hit norm, fired away 13 kills and finished with 14 markers, Madayag, back in the league after a stint with the national team in the inaugural ASEAN Grand Prix last week, added 11 points and de Leon, who suited up for the squad just last week while trying to recover her form, came off the bench and added two points in a two-set stint as a reliever, the last a dink that finished off the Water Defenders and ousted the latter from the semis race.

BaliPure fell to 2-10 and even a sweep of its last four games in the double-round elims among nine teams won’t merit a shot for at least a playoff for the fourth and last semis berth in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

“This team is very young and they continue to learn every match,” said Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro. “Just what I’ve been telling them, every match is a learning process. We have to accept that we’re still not as strong as the other (established) teams but we’re going there for as long as we continue learning and aiming at what is above.”

Shannen Palec also produced nine points for the Flying Titans, who broke their slump with a hard-earned five-set escape over the Chef’s Classics Red Spikers last weekend.

Menchie Tubiera scored 11 points while Grazielle Bombita struggled for eight markers for BaliPure, which could only come up with a 20-kill effort against Choco Mucho’s 41, with the Water Defenders also yielding 26 points off their miscues.