Choco, Creamline hurdle first assignment

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Choco, Creamline hurdle first assignment
Deanna Wong
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Dante Alinsurin had seen positive signs since he took over the coaching reins at Choco Mucho.

Well, things turned out that way yesterday.

Rejuvenated by the arrival of their new coach and the new system he injected, the Flying Titans smashed Akari, 25-15, 25-20, 25-20, yesterday to set in motion its bid for a first podium finish in the Premier Volleyball All-Filipino Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Maddie Madayag showed she’s close to returning to full strength as she fired 11 points, the same number put up by Kat Tolentino and skipper Bea de Leon, while Isa Molde chipped in 10 hits.

In the other game, crowd-favorite Creamline continued its domination of Petro Gazz with a 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 win that kicked off its title-retention bid on a high note.

It was the Cool Smashers’ 14th straight win over the Angels.

For Madayag, Alinsurin’s appointment was a breath of fresh air for the Jonathan Ng-owned franchise.

“For now, we’re just focusing on the new system, kita naman na na-apply at gumagana sa new system,” said Madayag, finally back after injuring her knee two years ago in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, of Alinsunurin. “We’re happy we’re clicking with the new coaches and the new system.”

The reinsertion of Deanna Wong as starting setter in place of Jem Ferrer also made the difference as the former had 21 excellent sets to go with three points including a game-high two blocks.

Alinsunurin, former head coach of the Philippine men’s team, is happy to claim his first win in the PVL.

“I still can’t believe I won my first game in the PVL. Nothing can describe it,” said Alinsunurin, who took over from Oliver Almadro last month.

While the Flying Titans looked comfortable with the coaching change, the Chargers are still adjusting with the arrival of three veteran players – Dindin Manabat from Chery Tiggo, Eli Soyud from PLDT and libero Bang Pineda from Petro Gazz.

Manabat impressed on her Akari debut with 17 points.

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