BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Kat Tolentino was glad to have a couple of her former allies as Choco Mucho opened their Premier Volleyball League Open Conference campaign on Wednesday night at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center here.
Joining the three foundations of the Flying Titans in Tolentino, Maddie Madayag, and Bea De Leon in the squad are newcomers and former Ateneo teammates Ponggay Gaston, Deanna Wong, and Jamie Lavitoria.
For the Fil-Canadian spiker, having the championship core of Ateneo in the PVL is one advantage that they can definitely use especially in a competitive playing field like this.
“I think it’s just nice to have the Ateneo core with this team.
“It’s definitely an advantage because we know Coach O’s [Almadro] system and we still have a lot of things to fix and we’re still adjusting,” said Tolentino, as Choco Mucho finally made its much-awaited debut. “So I think soon, hopefully, we’ll be able to really get the Ateneo system that Coach O has instilled in us and look forward to the future games.
“It was nice to be back on the court. I think the team showed a lot of heart. I’m just thankful that we were able to get a win in the end,” the 26-year-old Filipino-Canadian continued.
Though the Flying Titans showed rust in their debut, the Lady Eagles’ chemistry proved to be more than enough as they took a four-set, 28-26, 10-25, 27-25, 25-11, win over the skidding PLDT Power Hitters.
Tolentino and De Leon finished with 18 points apiece while Wong dished out a total of 26 sets along with 13 excellent digs and four markers. Also making her mark is Gaston with six points and seven excellent receptions.
The 26-year-old Tolentino also praised new additions Regine Arocha, Necole Ebuen, and veteran libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla, who according to the 6-foot-2 hitter, brought so much energy to the young squad.
“They’re definitely a huge factor. They really fulfilled their role as we trained in the bubble they really know their role and I’m just thankful that they’re very accepting and they are very fun to be around,” she gushed.
“They bring so much energy to the team and we’re very lucky to have them.”