Flying Titans end 5-set woes, repel Red Spikers
Flying Titans end 5-set woes, repel Red Spikers
( - September 21, 2019 - 7:36pm

Games Sunday
(Filoil Flying V, San Juan)
2 p.m. – Air Force vs BanKo-Perlas
4 p.m. – Chef’s Classics vs PetroGazz

MANILA, Philippines — Choco Mucho finally got over the five-set hump to break a five-game slump, repulsing the hard-luck Chef’s Classics, 32-34, 25-12, 23-25, 25-18, 15-11, and keeping its slim semifinal hopes alive in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center in Bulacan Saturday.

The Flying Titans fought back from two tight losses in the first and third sets then seized control early in the decider behind Kat Tolentino, Grace Berte and Shannen Palec to end a long skid for a 3-6 card while extending the Red Spikers’ woes to 10 straight games.

Tolentino unleashed a 36-hit game, including four in the fifth frame capped by a backrow hit that ended the grueling rematch of the league’s newcomers while Berte and Palec had two hits apiece in that stretch the Flying Titans controlled aided by the Red Spikers’ couple of miscues.

Middle blocker Bea de Leon also provided inspiration as she suited up for Choco Mucho for the first time after missing the first round action while trying to regain her form.

The victory was big sigh of relief for the young Flying Titans, who had failed to close out all their previous matches that went the distance, the last three against the league’s top teams – PetroGazz, Air Force and Motolite.

They also figured in the league’s second longest set although unlike in their 41-39, 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 12-15 loss to PacificTown Army last Aug. 21, the Flying Titans yielded the opening set to the Red Spikers.

But Choco Mucho imposed its will in the second set and after losing steam again in stretch to drop the next frame to the Nieza Viray-led Red Spikers, the Flying Titans reasserted their might in the fourth to force the decider that saw them wrest a 4-2 edge before posting an 8-4 lead at changeover.

Tolentino and Berte’s attack errors enabled the Red Spikers to close in at 7-9 but a Chef’s Classics service error and a Tolentino point off a joust gave the Flying Titans another four-shot cushion.

In the other match, PacificTown Army bucked the absence of Jovelyn Gonzaga and coach Kungfu Reyes as it repeated over BaliPure, 25-17, 25-22, 25-18, to move to fourth at 6-4 while dimming the Water Defenders’ semis chances at 2-9.

BaliPure actually battled back from 10-22 down in the second and survived six set points but failed to sustain its fightback as the veteran Army side regrouped to frustrate the Water Defenders.

Meanwhile, surging Air Force tries to get back at BanKo-Perlas as action in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision shifts back to the Filoil Flying Center in San Juan Sunday.

The Jet Spikers dropped their first five games but won their last four to wheel back into semis contention, hoping to sustain their charge in their 2 p.m. match with the Perlas Spikers (6-3), who dispatched them in three in the first round last August 17.

PetroGazz likewise goes all-out for a victory over winless Chef’s Classics in their 4 p.m. encounter with the Angels, the recent Reinforced Conference champions, seeking their sixth win in eight games at the close of their first round elims campaign.

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