PETRO GAZZ coach Timmy St. Tomas is hoping that a brief rest is enough for them to get ready against the Chery Tiago Crossovers, as action in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino elimination shifts to the Philsports Arena on Saturday in Pasig City for the first time this conference.
No less than the solo lead is stake for the Angels, who actually did themselves a big favor when they swept the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers late Thursday, avoiding going through a wringer and then facing another top contender at 6 p.m. tonight.
Sto. Tomas actually expressed shocked when asked of his plan against the Crossovers right after his wards subdued the Cargo Movers, mumbling while hinting that they be given time to rest and re-think: “The game with F2 Logistics is just over.”
But gathering his thoughts, he obliged: “Chery Tiggo is a very competitive team. On paper, individually, they have the materials and we need to study their system and how they play.”
But the way Petro Gazz hurdled its fourth straight assignment to re-join Creamline in the lead, Chery Tiggo must’ve gone through a series of reviews of the Petro Gazz-F2 Logistics match to draw up its own scheme of things and try not only to stop the Angels but tie them at 4-1.
The Crossovers had a virtual workout against the Gerflor Defenders last Tuesday, winning in three with rookie Eya Laure continuing to flourish with her strong play complemented with her sister EJ’s consistent games, along with those of Cess Robles, Imee Hernandez, Cza Carandang, Pauline Gaston and Shaya Adorador and the playmaking skills of Jasmine Nabor and Joyme Cagande.
But while scoring won’t be too much of a concern for Chery Tiggo, coach Aaron Velez is expected to focus on how to stop the other side’s offense, firmed up by the rise of Ranya Musa, who fired 11 points to help steer the Angels past the Cargo Movers.
“Everyone in the team is eager to learn and win. Their drive is amazing,” Sto. Tomas said. “I think we’re on the same page – that we want to learn and win. Both ways, I also want to learn from them.”
Grethcel Soltones, Remy Palma, Jonah Sabete, Aiza Pontillas and Djanel Cheng form part of Petro Gazz’s solid lead group that includes either liberos Jellie Tempiatura or Baby Barbon with Nicole Tiamzon, Dzi Gervaciio, Marian Buitre and Kecelyn Galdones ready to step up at any given time.
Meanwhile, Cignal and PLDT expect to get past Farm Fresh and Gerflor at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, with the HD Spikers seeking a follow-up to their four-set win over the Akari Chargers last Tuesday for a 3-2 card and the streaking High Speed Hitters looking for their fourth straight victory after dropping a four-setter to the HD Spikers last Oct. 15.
But reversals are not being ruled out with the Foxies showing toughness in their last few matches and the Defenders also due for a big surprise three weeks into the single round robin elims among record 12 teams in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa, BingoPlus, ArenaPlus, SMART, Rebisco, Milcu, Kumu, Asics and SportRadar.
Games can be streamed on Pilipinas Live and PVL.ph and are telecast on One Sports, One Sports+, and SMART Livestream app.