PVL: Choco Mucho escapes PLDT behind Odina Aliyeva's 30-point outburst | Inquirer Sports

PVL: Choco Mucho escapes PLDT behind Odina Aliyeva’s 30-point outburst

/ 09:33 PM October 20, 2022

Choco Mucho import Odina Aliyeva. –PVL PHOTO

Choco Mucho import Odina Aliyeva. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Odina Aliyeva erupted for 30 points and delivered the big blows in the fifth set as Choco Mucho survived PLDT, 25-27, 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 17-15, for its second straight win in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Thursday at Philsports Arena.

The Uzbek-Azerbaijani spiker broke a 12-12 tie as she scored two in a row to reach match point, 14-13. But PLDT import Elena Samoilenko rejected her attack followed by Jessey De Leon’s drop to steal the advantage, 15-14.

Aliyeva tied the match before Samoilenko’s error put Choco Mucho on top, 16-15 as Des Cheng nailed a game-winning block on Chinchin Basas, 17-15.

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The 6-foot-1 spiker finished with 30 points off 27 attacks and three blocks and put up an equally tremendous defensive effort with 26 receptions and 10 digs to overcome Samoilenko’s 35-point explosion.

Kat Tolentino also led Choco Mucho’s fightback with 16 points built on 12 attacks and four blocks, including the clutch hits in the fourth set to force a decider.

Cherry Nunag added nine markers while Maddie Madayag also brought inspiration and leadership to the Flying Titans when she played for the first time since suffering an ACL injury in the 2021 PVL bubble in Ilocos Norte.

Choco Mucho improved to 2-1 with back-to-back wins before facing unbeaten leader Chery Tiggo (3-0) on Tuesday.

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“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,” said Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro. “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.”

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Samoilenko carried the cudgels for PLDT, hitting 34 kills for 35 points. The Russian spiker committed three attack errors early in the fifth set as they trailed 7-4 but she willed her team back and forced a toe-to-toe decider only to fall short in a game, where they took a 2-1 match advantage.

Fiola Ceballos shone off the bench with 14 points, including a team-high four blocks, and had 17 digs, while Mika Reyes also scored 14 as the High Speed Hitters suffered their second straight loss in three matches after giving up 31 errors.

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PLDT hopes to end its slump against F2 Logistics (1-2) on Tuesday.

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TAGS: Choco Mucho Flying Titans, PLDT High Speed Hitters, PVL

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