Petro Gazz Angels pull off 3-set win to bag 3rd place


PETRO Gazz, a bit startled facing a rival with a disparate starting roster, adjusted quickly and walloped Choco Mucho, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21, to clinch third place honors in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the PCV Socio Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, on Thursday.

Myla Pablo sustained her crisp-hitting ways, firing away 14 attack points for a 16-point output while Gretchel Soltones, Seth Rodriguez and Ces Molina backed her up with seven, six and five points, respectively, that proved enough to topple a team that came into the match sans two its key players.

The fourth-seeded Angels swept their best-of-three series for third place following their four-set victory on Wednesday that saw Choco Mucho’s skipper Maddie Madayag limp out of the game due to knee injury.

“It’s all worth the sacrifices and hard work of the players and as a team—from our bubble training then in the one month that we’ve been here. It’s a different kind of challenge—mentally and emotionally,” said Petro Gazz coach Arnold Laniog, whose wards blew a 2-1 set lead in the opener of their semifinal series with the Creamline Cool Smashers, who went on to steal Game One before winning the next to advance to the Finals.

Oliver Almadro, meanwhile, opted to keep top hitter Kat Tolentino and middle blocker Bea de Leon out of the court and fielded in his two other starters—spiker Ponggay Gaston and setter Deanna Wong—later in the third when the Angels were already on the verge of wrapping up their bronze medal effort in the country’s inaugural pro volley league.

Without its stars, Choco Mucho had to lean on Caitlyn Viray, Necole Ebuen, May Angustia, Shannel Palec and Kim Gequillana, who combined for 33 points with Gaston sneaking in two hits in her limited stint in the one-hour and 19-minute match.

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