(Sta. Rosa Sports Complex)
2:30 p.m. –- Petro Gazz vs Akari
5:30 p.m. –- Creamline vs Cignal
Choco Mucho avoided a fifth set meltdown to carve out a nail-biting, 25-27, 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 17-15, win over PLDT in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday night.
The Flying Titans leaned on Uzbek-Azerbaijani import Odina Aliyeva to extend the fifth set after squandering an early lead and a matchpoint advantage to walk away with their second straight win in three outings.
Aliyeva scattered 27 spikes on her 30-point outing and was active on floor defense with 26 excellent receptions and 10 digs to Choco Mucho, who overcame the 35 markers posted by High Speed Hitters’ Russian reinforcement Elina Samloilenko.
“We reiterated teamwork. I told my players small role, big role what is important is they deliver. Small things adding up they make a big thing. So three sets, four sets, five sets, we really appreciate, I really appreciate, the teamwork of my players, the hard work and we thank the Lord for the win,” Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro said.
The Flying Titans raced to a 4-1 lead in the fifth set and reached match point, 14-13, off an Aliyeva kill. Samoilenko scored on a block kill against Aliyeva before Jessey De Leon pushed PLDT at match point advantage on a quick attack.
Aliyeva tied it at 15 before Samoilenko muffed her attack for Choco Mucho’s second match point advantage. Des Cheng sealed the win with a kill block on Basas to end the two-hour, 44-minute showdown.
Kat Tolentino had 16 points while Cherry Nunag had nine markers for the Flying Titans.
PLDT gave Choco Mucho a scare in the fourth set as the High Speed Hitters cut an 18-23 deficit to 22-23 in a telling run capped by a Samoilenko kill.
Tolentino stopped PLDT on its tracks with back-to-back spikes to force the decider.
Samoilenko had 34 kills and four excellent receptions but committed four of errors in the fifth set for the High Speed Hitters, who gave away 31 points off miscues.
Fiola Ceballos and Mika Reyes added 14 markers for PLDT, which absorbed its second straight defeat for a 1-2 card tied with F2 Logistics and Akari.