Facing a two-set deficit, Motolite displayed composure as they snatched the victory from the jaws of defeat, grounding the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in five sets, 25-27, 15-25, 25-18, 25-17, 18-16, in the 2019 PVL Open Conference, Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
“I believe we fought well. A win is a win. We had a plan, at some point, it worked, while at some point, it didn’t work. But overall we fought and we fight, that’s the only thing I can say about the game,” said Motolite head coach Godfrey Okumu.
Isa Molde and Tots Carlos carried the scoring cudgels for Motolite. The UP tandem helped pull their team out of a precarious mire after Tolentino churned out an early offensive storm.
Molde fired 19 attacks and three kill blocks. She also collected 18 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions to post a triple-double performance.
Meanwhile, Carlos flaunted her might as she rained down 21 attacks. However, midway through the decisive fifth set, she packed too much power on a pair of her hits as momentum swung towards Choco Mucho, 13-10.
Fortunately, Cindy Imbo coughed back-to-back errors, setting up the table for Molde to knot the scores at 13. In the ensuing sequence, Bern Flora put Motolite at match point with a booming ace. Arianna Angustia then answered right back to forge a deuce.
In the two-to-win situation, Motolite gained the upper hand off Jessma Ramos’ quick attack. Angustia then pummeled a kill that brought the match to another stalemate. Carlos and Tolentino followed with a back-and-forth for a 16-all knot.
From there, Molde and Flora took matters into their own hands. The former shattered the deadlock, before the latter nailed the lethal blow.
Flora continued to step up in the absence of Myla Pablo. She flirted with a triple-double of 15 points — spiked by a pair of kill blocks — to go along with 20 excellent digs and eight excellent receptions.
Meanwhile, Ramos fortified the wall for Motolite. She netted five of her team’s 15 blocks for 13 points.
Iris Tolenada also played an instrumental role in the victory. She fanned out 46 excellent sets for Motolite, who ended their first-round campaign with a 6-2 card to sit at solo second.
“It’s a good way to end a long first round, but it’s not over yet — it’s just the beginning. Everybody wants to be number one, that’s why we are here. So I believe if you worked harder towards the end of the second round, we should be number one if we work harder,” Okumu said.
Tolentino erupted for a game-high 33 points built on 31 attacks. She also had 21 excellent digs to post a monster double-double outing that went for naught. She was the lone double-digit scorer for Choco Mucho.
The Flying Titans badly missed the services of Maddie Madayag, as she left for national duty in Thailand. Without their fleet-footed middle blocker, Choco Mucho only netted a total of three kill blocks.
Shannen Palec managed nine markers for the skidding Choco Mucho, who have slumped to a five-game losing skid with a 2-6 slate.
AC Masangkay tossed 35 excellent sets, while Bang Pineda had 31 excellent digs and 24 excellent receptions.
Motolite looks to sustain their momentum when they face the Air Force Lady Jet Spikers on Wednesday at the same venue. On Saturday, Choco Mucho seek to bounce back against the Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
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