(UPDATED) The PetroGazz Angels fended off a resilient BaliPure side in straight sets to bolster their semifinals chances in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference, Tuesday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
The Angels took advantage of untimely errors by the Water Defenders to come away with a 25-20, 26-24, 25-23 victory that hiked their record to 5-2.
It was not a straightforward victory, however, as BaliPure refused to make it easy for the Angels, particularly in the second frame.
Petro Gazz opened up an early 11-4 lead, pouncing on the Water Defenders' poor reception, but errors by the Angels and big hits by Graze Bombita forced a 19-all tie.
The teams went back-and-forth before back-to-back hits by Ces Molina pushed Petro Gazz to set point, 24-22. A service error by Myla Pablo and a kill by Bern Flora allowed the Water Defenders to extend the match, 24-all.
It was Ria Meneses who silenced the Water Defenders, ending a long rally with a running attack before Molina shut down a Flora attack to secure the win.
"Marami pa kami dapat i-trabaho, kasi sobrang dami ng errors," admitted Pablo after the game. "Lumaban talaga ang BaliPure."
"Marami kaming mistakes at kulang sa communication sa loob ng court. Nawalan din kami ng pasa sa second and third set," she added.
BaliPure threatened to extend the match when they raced to a 6-1 start in Set 1, but a combination of the Water Defenders' errors and timely hits from Soltones allowed the Angels to cut into the deficit. A clever drop by Pablo gave them a 23-20 advantage, and they reached match point off a BaliPure error, 24-21.
But PetroGazz committed a miscue as well and Gen Casugod scored an ace to keep the Water Defenders in the hunt, 24-23. Soltones would not be denied, however, firing a booming hit that bounced off Bombita's hands to wrap up the match in an hour and 20 minutes.
Soltones finished with 14 points on nine kills, four aces, and a block, while Meneses had eight points including four blocks.
The Angels are now tied with idle Chery Tiggo for a share of third place.
Bombita regained her high-scoring ways, putting up 18 points, but the Water Defenders could not overcome their error-prone ways as they gave away 28 free points to the Angels. BaliPure dropped to 2-5 in the conference.