PVL: Alinsunurin lauds Rondina, Viray impact as Choco Mucho stays alive | Inquirer Sports

PVL: Alinsunurin lauds Rondina, Viray impact as Choco Mucho stays alive

/ 04:57 PM July 16, 2023

Dante Alinsunurin Choco Mucho PVL

Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsunurin. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsunurin lauded the impact of Sisi Rondina and Caitlin Viray on the Flying Titans as the pair helped them stay in semifinal contention in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference.

On the eve of Alinsunurin’s birthday, the Flying Titans hung tight amid blowing a two-set lead and gifted their coach a nail-biting 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 18-25, 15-10 victory over the Petro Gazz Angels in front of 8,214 fans at Philsports Arena.

Rondina, Choco Mucho’s newest star, reset her professional career-high, erupting for 29 points including four aces, while Viray, who has been stepping up as a starter, put on the finishing touches in the fifth to cap her 12-point outing.

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Choco Mucho's SIsi Rondina PVL

Choco Mucho’s Sisi Rondina. –PVL PHOTO

After forcing a triple tie at 3-1 with F2 Logistics and Cignal, Alinsunurin credited Rondina for spelling the difference in their midseason campaign.

“Alam mo, mula nung dumating sa amin si Sisi talagang training pa lang yung impact niya sa team, sobrang nadadala yung team e. Mapa-practice, mapa-lahat e. Kaya sobrang thankful ako na Choco Mucho yung pinili niya dito ngayon, tinutulungan [niya] kami sa programa namin sa Choco Mucho,” said the Choco Mucho coach, who was hired to call the shots in January. “Sana continue pa kung ano yung dapat nating gawin tapos higitan mo pa yung mga numero mo ngayon.”

(Since Sisi arrived on our team, she made a huge impact on our team in practice and game. I’m really thankful because she chose Choco Mucho and she has been helping us in building our program for Choco Mucho. I hope she continues to do what she does and even surpasses her numbers.)

Rondina, who spent the past four years as a full-time Philippine women’s beach volleyball player, has been shining on her indoor comeback as Choco Mucho’s leading scorer and league’s No.2 with a total of 90 points built on 80 attacks, five blocks, and five aces behind Grethcel Soltones’ 101 points.

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Alinsunurin, a long-time men’s coach who won five UAAP titles with the NU Bulldogs and steered the men’s national volleyball team to a historic silver medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, also credited his good start in the PVL to Viray after she has been stepping up as the starting opposite spiker.

“Yung tiwala namin sa kanya talagang sinusuklian niya e. Yun talaga yung naging point namin sa kanya. Nung time na nageensayo pa kami talagang pinupush namin siya na ito yung dapat niyang gawin, nagdeliver naman siya,” said the Choco Mucho coach of Viray, who got the starting role over Kat Tolentino. “Basta tuloy tuloy lang kung ano yung binibigay namin sa kanya na trust lagi. Ang importante ginagampanan pa rin niya yung mga ginagawa niya.”

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(She is repaying our trust. In practice, we really push her to do what she has to do and she has been delivering [in games]. We will keep on trusting her and what’s important is she has to continue embracing her role.)

Caitlin Viray Choco Mucho PVL

Caitlin Viray. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Viray stepped up when it mattered most as she scored three straight kills for a 13-9 advantage en route to their thrilling five-set win over Petro Gazz. She wanted to make up for her late game lapses and bounce back from a five-set collapse to F2 Logistics last Tuesday.

“My mindset was to make up for my service error because if we lose again, we won’t be able to sleep. My mindset was to bounce back and fight for our teammates,” she said. “We’re very happy with our game today and hopeful that we will be able to bring this to our following games.”

Aside from the University of Santo Tomas standouts, Alinsunurin also credited Des Cheng, who fought hard to keep her team afloat after she was hospitalized last Tuesday’s match against F2 Logistics due to heat exhaustion.

“Des is a fighter. I commend her because even she’s feeling something and our conditioning coach and physical therapist have been telling her to take it easy but she continued to fight because she wants to improve her game,” he said.

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F2 Logistics will try to book the first semifinal berth in Pool B when it battles the also-ran Foton on Tuesday at 12 noon, as Choco Mucho and Cignal clash for the last ticket at 4 p.m.

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PVL: Sisi Rondina posts another pro best, leads Choco Mucho past Petro Gazz in crucial win

PVL: Much-improved Caitlin Viray giving Choco Mucho lift

TAGS: Caitlyn Viray, Choco Mucho Flying Titans, Coach Dante Alinsunurin, PVL, Sisi Rondina

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