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by Andy Fiel
The BanKo Perlas Spikers had no answer to the steady blocking of Choco Mucho, resulting in their first loss in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference (23-25, 20-25, 20-25) on Sunday at PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino, and Deanna Wong were too much for the Perlas Spikers and could not string up points consistently all game long.
Before the start of the game, Jem Ferrer was asked about the challenges her team had to hurdle even before they got to Ilocos.
“It was very tiring for us physically, mentally and emotionally. Sobrang daming challenges na hinarap ng team during our bubble training. Ang daming days na naka-quarantine kami and pagdating namin dito sa Ilocos nag-quarantine kami ulit. Medyo nag-struggle kami individually but alam naman namin na ma-overcome namin lahat and may purpose lahat ng pinagdadaanan ng team,” Ferrer stated.
In the first set, Choco Mucho had the edge in the blocking department making 6 points off blocks. Perlas had a chance to tie with two crucial hits by Nicole Tiamzon cutting the lead of the Flying Titans, 24-23, but Deanna Wong’s quick push found the hole in the defense and finished the set.
Coaches on both benches had an opportunity to use their bench in different stages of the match. Among their second unit Coach Abella gave the green light to newly acquired players Jhoana Maraguinot and Michelle Morente in the losing cause.
Choco Mucho erected a seven-point lead midway through the second set, 11-17, before finishing with a five-point lead as the Perlas Spikers suffered through 12 unforced errors.
Kat Tolentino took home player of the game honors contributing five attacks and four blocks, a total of nine points for the Flying Titans.