AVC: Despite valiant effort, PH spikers bow to Supreme Chonburi

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Choco Mucho went for the kill, fell short and found itself in an all-Filipino classification round showdown in the 21st Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship.

Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi needed to play tough and ward off a scare in the second and third sets to frustrate Choco Mucho, 25-13, 25-22, 25-21, forcing the all-Philippine duel for the opportunity to finish fifth in the tournament being played at the Terminal 21 competition hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, on Monday (Oct. 4).

“We really tried to push ourselves to win this match and avoid facing Rebisco, but then we really fell short,” said opposite hitter Mylene Paat, who contributed 14 points for Choco Mucho in the match.“

Still, I am really excited for the next match especially because it’s against a team that we’re familiar with and has the similar system with us,” Paat added.

Mau, Paat, Tolenada deliver in Choco Mucho’s valiant effort against Supreme Chonburi. [photo credit: Asian Volleyball Confederation / Eddy Phongphakthana]
Mau, Paat, Tolenada deliver in Choco Mucho’s valiant effort against Supreme Chonburi. [photo credit: Asian Volleyball Confederation / Eddy Phongphakthana]

Team Rebisco absorbed an 11-25, 19-25, 18-25 loss also on Monday to four-time Thailand League winner Nakhon Ratchasima Qminc VC.

The Choco Mucho-Rebisco match is set on Tuesday with the loser settling for seventh place and the winner advancing to the battle for fifth place with either Saipa (Iran) or Zhetysu (Kazahkstan).

Kalei Mau and Paat, Choco Mucho’s leading scorers in the preliminaries, stood out once more, proving that they are the vital cogs for the revitalized national team.

Despite the defeat, Choco Mucho’s net defense remain solid with six blocks, with Mau accounting for two.

Mau looked unintimidated by the Thais and scored a team-high 16 points, including eight in the second set, where the Filipinos kept the Thais within reach.

Paat, who during a late timeout in the third set rallied her teammates to produce better effort, tallied 11 attacks, two service aces and a block to finish with 14 points.

Team captain Iris Tolenada contributed not only in connecting Mau and Paat, but also in offense with four points, including three late in the third set where the Filipinos made a final stand before losing the chance of making it to the top four.

Tolenada’s back-to-back kills put the Filipinos to within 17-19 before the Thais pulled away and closed out the match in one hour and 41 minutes.

Head coach Arthur “Odjie” Mamon praised captain and playmaker Iris Tolenada who came off the bench for Deanna Wong.

“Iris played really well today, she dictated the team’s offense and stepped up when I called her to do the playmaking,” Mamon said.

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