Offseason key for Choco Mucho in maiden PVL title quest | Inquirer Sports
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Offseason key for Choco Mucho in maiden PVL title quest

/ 05:00 AM December 30, 2023

Choco Mucho coach Dante Alinsunurin.

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

Despite pulling a huge, rabid following, Choco Mucho is still chasing its first Premier Volleyball League title.

The Flying Titans haven’t even come close to winning one until the recently concluded All-Filipino Conference, where they were swept in the best-of-three series by sister team Creamline—although most would agree that they pushed the Cool Smashers to the veritable limit in those losses

.So consider that silver medal as a win, with the Flying Titans never finishing better than fourth in their glamorous PVL lives before that.

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“They (Flying Titans) really want to become champions, because they have been working so hard,” said coach Dante Alinsunurin, who hinted at dipping his hands in the free agent market after the disbandment of F2 Logistics in an effort to plug whatever holes there are in the Choco Mucho game.

READ: PVL finals loss stokes Choco Mucho hunger for title

“In the [championship series], we saw our lapses, our need to recruit people. That’s our first priority: who we can get to join the team so that we can improve how the team works,” Alinsunurin said.

“Right now, we are still looking, we have ideas and are trying to talk to some (available players).”

Prior to the All-Filipino Conference, Choco Mucho showed signs that it was ready to change its fortunes here, finishing third in the six-nation VTV International Women’s Volleyball Cup.

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That exposure boosted the Flying Titans’ confidence prior to the season-ending conference and allowed Choco Mucho to carve out a 10-1 win-loss elimination round run, which carried the team to No. 2 in the last four.

And with Sisi Rondina coming out every game with all guns firing, Choco Mucho certainly looked ripe for a breakthrough. Rondina went on to become the Most Valuable Player.

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Choco Mucho Sisi Rondina PVL

Choco Mucho star Sisi Rondina during Game 2 of the PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals against Creamline.–PVL PHOTO

Alinsunurin’s system has been digested by each and every member of the team, with a Game 1 loss in the semifinals to Cignal allowing the Flying Titans to show how much they’ve matured as they bounced back to win the last two games and march on to the title series.

They did go on to lose the series opener in four sets, and then dragged the Cool Smashers to a deciding fifth set in the next that showed signs of things to come when the next conference is played.

“It took them a while before they finished second (in a tournament),” Alinsunurin, a multititled men’s coach seeking his first crown in the women’s game, added.

READ: Maddie Madayag says Choco Mucho has PVL on notice after finals run

“But I told them that there are still other [conferences to be played]. I told them ‘You know what our lapses were this year, what’s important is that we learned from what we did wrong.”

Choco Mucho also had manpower problems with Des Cheng sidelined by injury and recently, Isa Molde, becoming practically unavailable in the championship series.

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So this offseason, Alinsunurin and management will have a lot of deliberations to do, and the vital missing piece should be out there somewhere. INQ

TAGS: Choco Mucho Flying Titans, PVL

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