PVL: Denden Lazaro’s stellar defense paves way for Choco Mucho’s first win

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Choco Mucho libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Denden Lazaro-Revilla welcomed F2 Logistics’ dynamic duo Lindsay Stalzer and Kalei Mau with her tremendous floor defense to deliver Choco Mucho’s first win in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.

Going up against her former rivals in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix finals three years ago, Lazaro was everywhere to protect Choco Mucho’s floor and add to the frustrations of the winless F2 Logistics, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 26-24, on Thursday at Philsports Arena.

The multi-awarded libero admitted that the attacks of her ex-Cocolife-UVC teammate Mau and American import Stalzer were tough to defend but she stood her ground with 26 digs and 11 excellent receptions.

“Lindsay and Kalei bring the fire in F2, they are leaders, too. Aby is there for the locals but the two bring additional firepower and willpower. It’s always tough going up against them and of course, F2, we all know they are a solid team. They gave us a good fight,” said Revilla.

“It’s tough they’re strong, they have more experience than I do. But I’m really thankful that we were able to prepare well today,” she added.

Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro knew that his star libero would deliver.

“That’s Den Lazaro. I told her that we’ll leave (the floor defense) up to you. Den responded that she got us. If you have a player like that’s one less concern for us. When you have that kind of teammates and player, you will never go wrong,” Almadro said in Filipino.

Despite her stellar game, Revilla deflected the credit to her teammates, led by Uzbekistani-Azerbaijan import Odina Aliyeva, who unleashed 27 points and provided a great defensive effort with 29 excellent receptions and 14 digs.

“It all started in practice and of course when we lost the last game. But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates. I mean their discipline in blocking and defense patterns. Our setters played well today. Kudos to our coaching staff and my teammates,” she said.

After their libero’s impressive play, the Flying Titans improved to 1-1 as they bounced back from a tough three-set loss to Petro Gazz last Tuesday.

Choco Mucho seeks to sustain its momentum against PLDT (1-1) on Thursday next week.

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