Soltones’ return a bright spot in Petro Gazz’s finals loss
MANILA, Philippines — Grethcel Soltones’ limited action in finals Game 2 was the silver lining of Petro Gazz’s runner-up finish in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
Soltones, who injured her right knee in Game 1, was able to return to action as service specialist with her knee heavily plastered due to a strain in Petro Gazz’s 18-25, 25-15, 23-25, 16-25 loss to eventual champion Creamline last Friday at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
Soltones was initially feared to have suffered from a major setback and her teammate Myla Pablo praised the heart of the former San Sebastian standout for still helping them in Game 2 despite the injury.
“I’m really happy that her knee only suffered from strain. She still played her heart out even though we all know that she is in pain. She still helped our team,” said Pablo after scoring 13 points in Game 2.
After losing Petro Gazz’s third finals duel with Creamline, Pablo admitted that the intact core led by Alyssa Valdez spelled the difference in beating the Angels thrice this conference, including their pool stage head-to-head.
“Creamline is really a solid team. They’ve been together for years and they showed us that they really wanted to get the championship,” she said.
The former PVL MVP, who is playing her second season with Petro Gazz, remained grateful for their runner-up finish after pulling off a series comeback over Cignal in the best-of-three semifinals.
“I’m really happy that we made it to the finals. We went through a lot in our practice, but we still made it even though all the teams have improved and beefed up their rosters. We gave our best in Game 2 even though we lost,” Pablo said.
Pablo stressed that their championship setback will only make them better for the two upcoming PVL tournaments, the Asian Invitationals in July and the Reinforced Conference in October.
“For our next conference, we have to come back stronger. We have to work out our lapses and solidify our bond as a team. I hope that for the next conference, we will be able to get the championship for the management,” she said.
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