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An opportunity for Choco Mucho

August 20, 2023 Lito Cinco 572 views

Lito CincoUNDOUBTEDLY, the Choco Mucho Flying Titans is the most popular team in the PVL and when they play, particularly against good teams, a big crowd is on hand.

Deanna Wong is the most popular player in the team, more so when she and Creamline’s equally-popular Jema Galanza were still in a relationship.

But whether you will agree with me or not, Choco Mucho is the most under-achieving team in the league.

With the talents they have, Kat Tolentino, Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag, Des Cheng, Caitlin Viray, and recent addition Sisi Rondina, they should be among the elite teams and not just among the more popular teams.

Fact is ex- Choco Mucho’s Ponggay Gaston had to transfer teams, and is now with Chery Tiggo , because she was not getting ample playing time.

And look at her role now with her new team.

Since it was formed in 2019, Choco Mucho has not gotten a podium finish yet, just two 4th places and five 7th places. Certainly not what you can expect from a team with this kind of talents.

And so having been selected to represent the country in the current VTV International Women’s Cup in Vietnam is a big opportunity for the team to show its true worth, more so that they are playing both club and school teams and Team

A’s from participating countries, host Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Vietnam is fielding two national teams, Kansai University is representing volleyball powerhouse Japan, Suwon City carries the colors of South Korea, Australia will send its Volleyroos team.

Am not sure if it is the country’s A Team, plus Choco Mucho.

I am sure the Flying Titans are raring to see action and test themselves against the other teams, they play Kansai first, then Vietnam 1, Australia, Vietnam 2, and Suwon City in the one round elimination, top two teams to go to the finals.

Just remember in the recent PVL Invitational, it was a Japanese Division 3 club team Kurashiki Ablaze that swept all the local teams en route to the championship.

I checked its ranking for 2023, it is 1085 , Kansai’s Social Welfare team is ranked lower at 1652.

Which means Choco Mucho may have better chances against Kansai, but then Japan is Japan when it comes to volleyball, and that first gane against this team will tell us how Choco Mucho will fare out.

Vietnam is a regional volleyball power and not in the class of Japan, but still, with national players on both teams, these will be formidable teams anytime, I would say and the odds will be on the side of the host country.

I am not familiar with the Australian team but the Korean team is ranked outside the country’s top 500.

For sure , the Philippines has been improving but still lags behind regional teams Thailand and Vietnam, but competitive against all other teams in South East Asia, but at the Asian level, we are way behind.

This stint by Choco Mucho will be another test case for us to see where we are now, I am not seeing a finals performance for sure but I certainly hope they will put up a credible performance in all their games.

In the local front, on going now is the V League Collegiate Cup Challenge organized by Ricky Palou and his group that also runs the PVL.

What is good here is that the men’s side of the game is being given attention.

And according to my friend Rhea Bavarro from the PVL, the guys are equally good, not just popular with local fans unlike the hugely popular women’s side.

The other good thing about this league is that UAAP and NCAA teams are entered in both the men’s and women’s side, the former has more UAAP squads like defending champion National University, Ateneo, De La Salle, UST, and FEU plus San Beda, Emilio Aguinaldo, and University of Perpetual Help .

While the women’s side has more NCAA teams, St. Benilde, University of Perpetual Help, San Sebastian, Lyceum, and Mapua, from the UAAP are UE and FEU, plus Enderun.

These leagues are the feeder programs for the PVL, and together with other collegiate tournaments like the Shakey’s, they help sustain the sport here.

I plan to drop by the V League in Paco Arena one of these days, I promised that to Rhea.

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