That was Choco Mucho after absorbing its first loss in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference since October 15.
And the Flying Titans were more shocked with how Cignal got this Game 1 semifinals win, rallying back from two sets down to triumph in five, 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10, on Thursday evening.
The 10-game winning streak of Choco Mucho has been broken.
Fortunately for the crowd darlings, this semifinals is a best-of-three series. And that’s what they will be aiming for on Saturday, extending this to a decider.,
“Siguro yung magiging mindset lang namin na kahit down kami sa nangyari ng Game 1, may chance pa rin kami na manalo sa series na ito. Yun lang naman ang importante sa ngayon,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin after the tough defeat.
Although holders of a long winning streak that made the Flying Titans look untouchable, Alinsunurin knew that it would barely mean a thing in the post-season.
The first-year Choco Mucho coach knew that going against Cignal, which has been a title contender in the league for a while now, would not be easy to topple, especially with a spot in the Finals on the line.
This despite the Flying Titans winning over the HD Spikers in straight sets in their elimination round encounter last October 26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18.
“Sabi ko nga hindi ibibigay sa amin ng madali eh. Although meron kaming pinanghahawakan na 10-game winning streak pero sabi ko semis ito eh, iba ‘to. Iba na yung record dito sa semis, best-of-three na,” said the concurrent NU Bulldogs head coach.
“Kailangan pa rin talaga pagtrabahuhan kasi sa ganitong sitwasyon, mabigat talaga yung labanan na.”
With the winning streak gone and their backs on the wall, the Flying Titans have no other choice but to recalibrate in the one-day interval before Game 2 on Saturday.
Or else, what was a promising campaign could end up abruptly.
“Pwedeng wake up call. Syempre kung ikaw yung nasa posisyon namin sobrang komportable ka na sa naging sitwasyon na lahat natalo namin maliban sa first game namin,” said the former men’s national team tactician.
“Sobrang kumpyansa kami, kailangan talaga namin siguro isa-isahin ulit kung paano ulit kami makakabalik sa laro sa Saturday.”