Almadro-led Petro Gazz solves Choco Mucho puzzle in just 3 sets

Choco Mucho showing respect to their former chief mentor Oliver Almadro (PVL Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Head coach Oliver Almadro got the last laugh during his showdown with his former team Choco Mucho Flying Titans.

In a very emotional atmosphere at the Filoil EcoOil Centre, Almadro faced his former wards considered ‘daughters’ for the first time since accepting the head coaching job for the Petro Gazz Angels.

The Angels gave Almadro a huge gift aside from their first win of the season when they swept the Flying Titans, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21, last February 9, 2023, in the ongoing Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.

Volleyball veteran and former national team outside hitter Aizo Maizo-Pontillas turned back the hands of time after dropping 19 big points built from 18 successful attacks.

Pontillas’ vintage performance put the crowd to their feet when she single-handedly carried Petro Gazz’s offense in the last stretch of the third and final set.

Aside from her offensive showcase, the former University of Santo Tomas (UST) superstar also had a decent defensive night when she tallied 14 excellent digs.

“Yung maturity nila nandon, yung hardwork nila nandon, so I will not say na ako yun. It’s them, sila yung may gusto. Sinabi na nila sa akin yesterday na they will win so I believed them,” said Almadro.

The Angels had to dig deep in the opening minutes of the match as the Flying Titans started hot courtesy of the connection of Deanna Wong and Kat Tolentino.

However, Pontillas’ response alongside the Angels’ adjustments in their middle blocking changed the entire complexion of the match.

The collective effort of Gretchel Soltones, Jonah Sabete, and Des Clemente then spearheaded Petro Gazz’s comeback midway through the first set.

Despite Tolentino’s consistent spikes scored for Choco Mucho, Petro Gazz had just more firepower in the end game capped off by a Pontillas frenzy.

The Angels are aiming to make it two wins in a row when they clash with the Cignal HD Spikers on February 18 while the Flying Titans will seek to return to the winning column on February 14 when they square off against the Creamline Cool Smashers.