By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Petro Gazz Angels displayed one of their best performances to crush the PLDT High-Speed Hitters, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference semifinals last March 23, 2023, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
With the win, the Angels just booked another PVL grand finals ticket and setup a highly-anticipated matchup with the rolling Creamline Cool Smashers that swept the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers during their best-of-three semis clash.
MJ Phillips spearheaded Petro Gazz’s semifinal victory after out-maneuvering the PLDT middle blockers with her craftier brand of offense.
The steady scorer provided the spark midway through the second set to end the game with 15 points built from 11 successful attacks alongside four blocks.
Meanwhile, Jonah Sabete had her share of shining moments after Phillips’ scoring barrage and took over in the third and final set with 13 points built from 11 successful attacks.
“First, I cannot say anything, I just challenged them. We always challenge these players and yun nga, inaccept nila yung challenge and they acknowledged it na they can do it,” said Petro Gazz head coach Oliver Almadro after the win.
PLDT nearly stole the set away from Petro Gazz in the second period when Jovy Prado and Dell Palomata joined hands to keep them within striking distance.
However, Petro Gazz’s timely offensive resurgence propelled them to escape the second set and enter the third with oozing confidence.
“Sabi ko nga kanina sa huddle namin, rise mentality, rise up attitude so gusto nilang makabawi agad and I’m happy na itong dalawang ‘to nung Game Two, talagang nag-struggle sila, but I’m really happy na they bounced back,” added Almadro.
Game 1 of the championship series between the Cool Smashers and the Angels will be played on March 26, 2023, still to be held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.