Flying Titans keep title bid afloat with dominant Game 2 win over HD Spikers

Sisi Rondina leads Choco Mucho to a series-extending win in the PVL Semifinals.

Sisi Rondina leads Choco Mucho to a series-extending win in the PVL Semifinals. –MARLO CUETO/

They were up, two sets to none in Game 2 of their semifinal series in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. They were exactly where they wanted to be at that point.

But Choco Mucho was also in that comfortable position in Game 1, only to lose.

On Saturday, Choco Mucho made sure it did not repeat the mistakes it made in the opener.

“We went [to the game] with the mindset that we will bounce back from our loss in Game 1,” coach Dante Alinsunurin said in Filipino as the Flying Titans swept the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Choco Mucho extended its conference into a deciding game on Tuesday after making sure there was no comeback from its foes. Trailing by a point in the third set, the Flying Titans went on a crippling run on the way to leveling the best-of-three series.

Blown lead

Sisi Rondina and Kat Tolentino were largely responsible for helping Choco Mucho make sure that Cignal stayed down this time after blowing a two-set lead in Game 1 for an 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10 defeat last Thursday.

That defeat ended the Flying Titans’ 10-game winning streak and put them on the cusp of an early vacation.

And Rondina took that loss personally, admitting that fatigue is getting the better of the Flying Titans.

“I always tell myself that we need to extend this series; our hard work should pay off because we are getting tired like from training [and] we want to rest as well,” Rondina said after carrying the scoring load for Choco Mucho with 23 points, 20 coming from attacks.

‘Humble ourselves’

“But we will continue on so our hard work pays off. The outcome of that will be a good performance,” Rondina went on while also adding two blocks.

Tolentino produced 15 points on 13 attacks and two blocks and said that staying alive gave the team an opportunity to go for the bigger goal.

“For me, we have to humble ourselves again, we have to start from the beginning. We celebrate but we have to prepare again for Tuesday (Game 2) because of course Cignal is gonna come out with more fire,” Tolentino said.

“The team that’s complacent will always be at a disadvantage and I think that’s what happened last game and we have to keep that fire alive and just continue to be humble with our skills and go back to coach Dante’s system,” she added.

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The winner of Tuesday’s do-or-die duel will advance to the Finals against powerhouse Creamline, which continued to establish its dominance by ousting Chery Tiggo, 26-24, 25-21, 25-21, in Game 2 of their semifinal series.

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