Armed with new coach, Choco Mucho makes winning debut–while still feeling its way through new system

Maddie Madayag PVL

Maddie Madayag. PVL PHOTO

Dante Alinsunurin finds himself in quite the spotlight as the new coach of a hugely popular team.

“The crowd energizes me to know that Choco Mucho has so many fans,” Alinsunurin said on Saturday after the Flying Titans’ fiery debut during the Premier League Volleyball League All-Philippines Conference. (PVL). “I can see me [new] The team gets a big boost from our supporters.

Choco Mucho defeated Akari, 25-15, 25-20, 25-20, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, even as the team was still in the process of perfecting its system.

“I think [the team has absorbed] 60 to 70 percent [of the system] but of course, we still need to refine what we want to do on the pitch,” Alinsunurin said after the game.

Luckily for the honored male coach, his new team is poised to learn.

“Well, everyone is open about learning the new system because we all know it is for our own good,” said Maddie Madayag, who had 11 points to win. “We are happy to have learned a lot that can be applied to the game.”

Like Madayag, Bea De Leon and Kat Tolentino also had 11 points for Choco Mucho each as the trio of former Ateneo stars ruined Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s debut as the Akari Charger.

ACL injury

Madayag, who injured her left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) this past August 2021 during the PVL Open Conference Bacarra bubble game, shone in her maiden game, hitting nine out of the box. Her 12 breakout attempts on a block and a trump card in front of 9,819 fans.

“I am very happy that coach Dante has given me the opportunity to redeem myself. Because it took me a while to recover from that painful fall,” said the midfield star stopper, who played little in last year’s Enhanced Conference.

“I’m so glad I can go back [from my injury] in this game. But we won’t stop at this game, we will keep working,” she added.

When Akari took a 14-13 lead in the third set, Madayag took four consecutive points to put Choco Mucho ahead, 17-15, before moving to the backline. She made a serve to give her team a 20-15 lead.

Jhoana Maraguinot stopped the Chargers’ bleeding with close hand-to-hand attacks. But De Leon restored order to the Flying Titans with two consecutive attacks to gain a 22-17 advantage.

That was enough to give Alinsunurin an important victory.

First PVL win

“I am grateful to my players and coaching staff because we really helped each other to get this win. This win gives me goosebumps because it’s my first time coaching PVL,” said Alinsunurin, whose ward only committed 11 fouls in the match.

Deanna Wong is also credited with an excellent 21 sets and scoring three points from two blocks. Isa Molde took 10 points, while Des Cheng added 7 points and had 14 excellent tackles and 9 assists libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla.

Manabat knocked out Akari with the highest 17 in the game, while Janine Marciano had 12. However, the Chargers made 23 mistakes and failed to score a single block kill in the game.

Madayag and the flying Titans will now brace themselves for a tough encounter with Petro Gazz next week. The Angels are currently being coached by former Choco Mucho strategist Oliver Almadro.

“We have a good relationship with Coach O,” Madayag said, referring to her former coach Ateneo. “We are pleased to see how he has developed as a coach and what system he will adopt. [with Petro Gazz].”

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