MANILA – Then, there were two.
The Petro Gazz Angeles arranged a title showdown against the defending champions Creamline Cool Smashers on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena after beating the PLDT High Speed Hitters in Game 3 of their semis series.
But despite taking a finals berth, Angels are well aware that they are the underdog heading into the best-of-three championship series against the heavy favorite Cool Smashers.
Head coach Oliver Almadro said they will strive to give Creamline a fight by setting a goal and staying consistent to their plays.
“Sabi namin, to reach that dream, kailangan may goal kami. We have to commit and be consistent in that goal so, yun lang, kung san kami abutin, yun lang naman ang atin eh. They are there, kami underdog kami. So, sabi nga namin, trabaho lang kami kung san kami abutin. We're a strong team, great teams will just push us forward,” Almadro said.
Petro Gazz’s middle blocker MJ Phillips, on the other hand, shrugged off their loss to Creamline in the elimination round as she is excited to hopefully get one against them in significant stage of the tournament.
“I am excited. That's one of the teams that I'm really looking forward to and I mean, since I've been in Petro Gazz, or yeah, since in the PVL, we haven't beaten Creamline, so, I think if we play like this, on Sunday, psh, yeah,” Phillips said.
Meanwhile, Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses jokingly said that a finals matchup against Petro Gazz will be a “battle of seniors” as the likes of Jema Galanza and Jia Morado go head-to-head against Grethcel Soltones, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, and Remy Palma.
"It would be a good fight because Creamline and Petro Gazz are always facing each other in the Finals. It will be the third Finals that I will be facing them (the Angels) as head coach of the team (Creamline),” Meneses said.
Creamline also declined to give definite status if injured Alyssa Valdez could suit up for the team in the finals.
Almadro also said they wanted to prove that they are a worthy opponent in the championship round and counter the naysayers of the Angels.
“Many teams will underestimate us. Many teams will be 'oh, wala naman yung Petro Gazz, hindi naman sila yan, wala naman yan'. But we will show the performance, it will show for itself kung saan kami abutin and kung saan kami dalin ni Lord,” he continued.
“What strength, what might the lord will give us, we will just accept it and show it to the people that we are a team and, we are one, one goal talaga kami to reach the destination.”
This is the third time Petro Gazz and Creamline will tussle for the All-Filipino title – and fourth overall in the PVL history. Creamline is holding a 3-1 advantage in the those finals matchups.
Tip off of Game 1 of the finals will be at 6:30 PM just after the 4PM match between the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers and PLDT for battle for third.