PVL: PetroGazz stays unbeaten with 4-set win vs. PLDT

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2022 05:42 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2022 06:21 PM

The PetroGazz Angels are now 2-0 in the PVL Open Conference. PVL Images.
The PetroGazz Angels are now 2-0 in the PVL Open Conference. PVL Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) The PetroGazz Angels took the top spot in Pool B after a four-set victory against the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters on Monday afternoon at the Paco Arena in Manila.

Nicole Tiamzon stepped up as the Gazz Angels seized a 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 25-18 triumph to hike their record to 2-0 in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.

After a dip in form in the second set, PetroGazz displayed its poise in a tight third set then rode the momentum of that win en route to a comfortable victory in the fourth frame.

The Power Hitters dropped to 0-2 in their group, having lost their conference opener to Creamline last week.

"Kailangan lang naming ibalik 'yung kumpyansa ng first ball," said Tiamzon, who had 13 points on 12 kills and a block. "'Pag may first ball kami, makaka-atake kami ng maayos."

The pivotal third set saw PLDT claw their way back from a slim deficit to stay within striking distance of the Gazz Angels down the stretch. From a 12-7 lead, the Fibr Hitters forced a deadlock at 15, thanks to a crosscourt attack by Chin Basas.

Neither team could take control until a Petro Gazz kill and a mishit by Heather Guino-o on a down-the-line attempt gave the Gazz Angels a crucial 23-21 lead.

A running attack by Mika Reyes brought PLDT within one point, 23-22, but Eli Soyud and Guino-o committed attack errors on back-to-back rallies to hand PetroGazz a 2-1 advantage.

With momentum on their side, the Gazz Angels raced to a 21-14 advantage in the fourth set and weathered a late fightback by the Fibr Hitters to complete the win in an hour and 28 minutes. 

MJ Phillips contributed 11 points, including three blocks, as she continues to flourish in her new position as PetroGazz's middle blocker. Jonah Sabete had 10 points, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas scored nine including the game-clinching block on Basas.

Meanwhile, Soyud had 17 points and Dell Palomata contributed 10 markers for the Fibr Hitters, who continue to struggle with their consistency. PLDT was unable to build on a strong outing in the second set, and untimely errors doomed them in the third frame.