With Creamline holding all the cards, PetroGazz vows best effort
Dragged to a dogfight for two straight nights by a different enemy and having barely 48 hours to cool their heels, the PetroGazz Angels will be plunging into the fight of their lives against a team that hasn’t tasted defeat and on a stage very few expected them to get to.
“We will prepare hard, we will try our best,” coach Jerry Yee said on the eve of his Angels’ Game 1 clash with powerhouse glamor team Creamline for the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference title. “Creamline is intact, strong and has the chemistry. I don’t see us having any advantage.”
That could also be what Yee said when they started their Final Four series against Cignal HD last week, just when the HD Spikers also came into that series undefeated before the Angels brought them to their knees by coming back from 0-1 down in the race-to-two affair.
Yee hopes to be able to weave that same kind of magic starting at 6 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
And while the Angels will be coming off a total of nine hard-fought sets in two nights from last Sunday, the Cool Smashers are well-rested and will have the benefit of scouting reports after having seen PetroGazz at its best those two days.
Coach Sherwin Meneses, though, is not about to fall into complacency even with his Cool Smashers listed as the overwhelming favorites to prevail and slay the ghost of last year when they lost to Chery Tiggo.
“We’re excited to be playing in the finals again,” Meneses had said after sewing up a place in the best-of-three title series.
Creamline has the firepower to bring anyone down here, with a core led by Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza and Tots Carlos getting all the looks it needs from the brilliant Jia de Guzman.
“If Jia gets active in the middle, it will be a big headache for us,” Yee said in highlighting the importance of the Creamline setter’s role.
This will be the third time that Creamline and PetroGazz will be squaring off for a title. And though they split those two—PetroGazz won the 2019 Reinforced Conference and Creamline the Open title shortly after—even seasoned Angel playmaker Chie Saret believes that they are the underdogs.
But she’s not about to budge an inch, though.
“We have no time to prepare but we will give it our best shot, we will give them a good fight,” said Saet, who also has a number of good hitters as options led by Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Myla Pablo.
“Whatever the result, we will all be thankful,” she said. INQ
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