PVL: Bea De Leon gets confidence boost in another Choco Mucho win
MANILA, Philippines — Bea De Leon made the most of her extended minutes with 13 points to lead Choco Mucho’s dominant 25-16, 25-17, 25-11 win over Gerflor for their ninth consecutive victory in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.
Inspired by their semis-clinching win last game to end a four-tournament drought, De Leon unleashed six attacks, five blocks, and two aces as the Flying Titans won nine in 10 matches to stay in contention for the top two seeds.
“I think it’s been four, almost five years na may Choco Mucho and this has always been part of the goal. At this point in time, ‘di na kami nagbibilang, umaasa sa ibang team na matalo. Ngayon tinatanong kami kung namimili ba kami ng kalaban. Sobrang saya to see and be with the team through ups and downs. Sobrang thankful lang kami na nandito kami,” said the Choco Mucho captain.
Embracing a new role under coach Dante Alinsunurin, the veteran middle blocker relished the opportunity to play extended minutes ahead of their return to the semifinals starting next week.
“This is a big boost to my confidence. It’s been a while so yung confidence ko in this game tumaas din. Hopefully nga pagkadating don, once na tumigin si coach at may kinailangan yung team ready po kami talaga,” De Leon said.
The Ateneo product said the team is mastering the system of Alinsunurin, who took over late last year and brought back Choco Mucho to the semis in his third conference as a PVL coach.
“I think solid na yung implementation ni coach. Talagang tyinaga namin siya, well tyinaga rin nila coach. Marami siyang pinagdaaan and finally, after a year. Actually napakabilis nga ng pagaabsorb ng system but I think we’re there. Definitely, maiimprove pa for sure,” De Leon said. “I’m sure marami pang cards si coach sa pockets niya but yeah, I think definitely everybody is doing well and na-embrace na yung system. Kahit yung mga adjustments niya nagagawa na namin. Isang sabi niya lang, nasusundan naman namin.”
Alinsunurin had the luxury of rotating his team against Gerflor with Sisi Rondina leading the way with 17 points including two aces to go with nine digs and seven excellent receptions. Setter Deanna Wong made 17 excellent sets as Isa Molde and Aduke Ogunsanya added six points each.
Libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla had nine digs and five receptions as starting defensive specialist Thang Ponce and middle blockers Maddie Madayag and Cherry Nunag sat out in the match.
“I tell my players to stay ready always regardless of our opponent. They played well and everyone delivered including Bea. She even got the player of the game. What’s important to our team is whoever you field should deliver,” Alinsunurin said in Filipino.
No Defender scored in double figures with Shang Berte leading the way with eight points as they remained winless in nine games.