PVL: Petro Gazz shoots down PLDT to move closer to Finals

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2023 10:14 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2023 10:19 PM

Photo from PVL Media Bureau
Photo from PVL Media Bureau

MANILA (UPDATED) -- The Petro Gazz Angels are knocking on the door of yet another finals appearance in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL). 

Petro Gazz bucked slow start to hack out a 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 win over the PLDT High Speed Hitters in Game 1 of the Best-of-3 semifinals series in the PVL All-Filipino Conference 2023 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. 

The Angels are just an inch away from entering the championship round, following their title run in the recent Reinforced Conference. 

All the starting hitters of Angels scored in double digits with Jonah Sabete leading all of them with 18 points, including 14 attacks, three blocks, and an ace.

“Talagang ang galing ng PLDT, they’re a really great team…Na-push nila kami to our limits, so nakita namin kung ano pa yung pagkukulang, especially nung first set at nung second set na pitpitan talaga. What’s good is these girls are really fighters. They’re humble and they’re fighters, and they really want it,” head coach Oliver Almadro said. 

MJ Phillips tallied 17 points while Remy Palma and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas had 27 combined markers. 

With a 16-12 separation in the fourth frame, Petro Gazz widened the lead with a 7-1 run after the second technical timeout, sparked by an off-the-block hit and service ace of Sabete, 24-13. 

The High Speed Hitters tried to make a final ditch with a 5-0 run, capped by an error of Angels, to delay the impending victory of Petro Gazz. 

Jovie Prado paced PLDT with 18 points aside from 14 digs and 11 excellent receptions. Me-Anne Mendrez and Mika Reyes tallied 11 apiece. 

After dropping the first set, the Angel regrouped in the second frame as they pulled away 19-13 off an ace of Phillips. 

An off-the-block spike of Prado followed by a Petro error cut the deficit to four, 18-22, before Pontillas took charge and put the team at set point via a crosscourt kill. An ace of Palma tied the game at 1-1.