Petro Gazz sized up Army in the first set then exploited its superior edge in the next two to post a 25-21, 25-10, 25-13 victory and boost its semifinal drive in the Premier Volleyball League All Filipino Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig Saturday, March 4.
MJ Phillips led the assault with 16 points, including nine on attacks, four blocks and three aces, while Aiza Pontillas put in a 10-point output for the Angels, whose lopsided win came after they dispatched the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, also in three sets, last Thursday.
Petro Gazz thus tied F2 Logistics at third at 4-2 with the Angels looking to nail another victory against lowly Akari on Thursday and close in on one of the semis slots. The 2021 Open Conference runners-up, however, will close out their elims campaign against the Chery Tiggo Crossovers on March 14.
Creamline leads the Final Four chase with a 5-1 slate while a surging PLDT is in second at 4-1 and Chery Tiggo is seeking to join F2 Logistics and Petro Gazz at 4-2 against Akari at presstime.
Choco Mucho and Cignal tote 2-3 and 2-4 cards, respectively, while also-ran Army took its sixth straight loss in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
So overpowering were the Angels that they produced 41 spikes against the Lady Troopers’ 19 and came away with 10 kill blocks, six more than their rivals.
Petro Gazz also pounced on Army’s sloppy service reception and scored eight aces while giving up three of their own.
“I’m happy because what I asked my players was to be consistent and committed sa mga ginagawa namin,” said Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro. “Hoping that the consistency, the intensity, and the level of play will be there. If we do this everyday, I’ll be happy at sana tumaas pa ng tumaas every day.”
Remy Palma added nine points while Jonah Sabete slowed down with six points after exploding for 13 hits in helping anchor the Angels’ victory over the Cargo Movers. Seasoned Grethcel Soltones also contributed six points and Lou Clemente and Dzi Gervacio added three hits apiece.
But Almadro stressed the need for his wards to work harder in a bid to get better, saying: “My tendencies pa rin kami na maging doubtful, Nag-o-overthink pa sila but I’m just asking them to keep on talking to just free up the thoughts nab aka magkamali pa. Nagma-manifest naman at nakakabawi.”
“We just have to start it right and end it right,” he added.
Honey Royse Tubino’s seven points proved to be Army’s best, typifying the team’s offensive struggle while Jeanette Villareal came up with six markers and veteran Nene Bautista finished with five points.
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