Flying Titans subdue HD Spikers to close in on bronze finish

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Flying Titans subdue HD Spikers to close in on bronze finish
Deanna Wong’s steady presence helped propel the Flying Titans.
PVL Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Choco Mucho pounced on Cignal’s tired legs as it hammered out a 25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22 victory Wednesday to move on the cusp of a franchise-best finish in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Deanna Wong’s steady presence helped propel the Flying Titans, who were swept by the Creamline Cool Smashers in two games in their semis duel, to a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three battle for third showdown.

A win in Game Two Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City would hand the franchise its best performance in the league thus far after finishing seventh in its maiden season three years ago and fourth last year when the PVL turned pro.

A decider, if necessary, is on Sunday also in Antipolo.

“Our focus is to really win the bronze,” said Wong after dishing out 30 excellent sets while chipping in four hits including a pair of service aces.

MVP candidate Kat Tolentino went on a spiking spree and uncorked a match-high 23 points while Bea de Leon scattered 11.

It didn’t help the HD Spikers that they came into the game a little tired and weary after playing a total of eight games that was capped by a heartbreaking 2-1 semis defeat at the hands of the Angels.

So fatigued was Cignal that it rested team captain Rachel Anne Daquis, who was taken out of the last two sets of its 25-21, 28-26, 15-25, 25-21 loss to Petro Gazz in the deciding Game Three at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan Monday, in the first set and most part of the second.

The absence of Daquis at the start somehow gave Choco Mucho leeway to dominate the first two sets for a two sets to none edge.

Daquis managed to finish with 10 points and even willed Cignal back by seizing the third set while claiming the early upperhand in the fourth set.

It turned out its last show of force as Choco Mucho roared back to steal the set with Pongay Gaston firing the final hit that sealed Cignal’s doom.

Riri Meneses, Cignal’s bastion of defensive strength, saw limited action and did not score.

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