MANILA, Philippines – PetroGazz fought back from the brink with a spirited charge in the middle sets, then banked on its net defense to frustrate BanKo-Perlas in the decider for its first win of the 2018 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference on Sunday at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.
The Angels fell behind by two sets but displayed their tremendous fighting spirit in claiming a 15-25, 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-9 triumph for their first win in four games.
After being beaten to the punch by BanKo-Perlas' Thai import, Jutarat Montripila, at multiple points in the game, PetroGazz's Anastasia Trach finally got the better of her counterpart in the fifth frame.
Trach came through with back-to-back blocks that set the tone for the Angels' 4-0 blitz in the decider that put them on the road to victory.
The Angels appeared headed for a fourth consecutive loss after dropping the first two sets in lopsided fashion. But PetroGazz regrouped and proved to be the more composed team in the closing stretch of the next two sets, allowing them to force the deciding set where Trach took over.
A kill and two blocks by the Ukrainian hitter, combined by a BanKo-Perlas miscue, gave PetroGazz a 4-0 cushion that they nursed all the way to the final rally.
Trach came through with another block for a 7-4 lead, before Mary Ann Mendrez scored three straight points – including two aces – after the Perlas Spikers came to within two points, 6-8.
Fittingly, it was Trach who capped the Angels' come-from-behind win by scoring the last two points, including a powerful hit to an unguarded spot in the middle.
Trach finished with 23 kills and four blocks, while drawing solid support from PetroGazz's local crew.
Though the win only tied PetroGazz with BanKo-Perlas at seventh in the eight-team field, it was enough to revive the Angels' bid in the season-opening conference of the league.
The top two teams after the single-round elimination will advance to the semifinals outright, while the rest clash in another single-round quarterfinals for the other two spots in the Final 4.
In the men's division, PLDT out-steadied Cignal in the fourth set and pounded out a 25-20, 26-24, 26-28, 25-23 decision to snap a two-game skid for a 1-2 card. Cignal dropped to 1-1 in a tie with Vice Co. and Air Force, behind Instituto Estectico Manila's 2-0 slate.
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