PVL: Petro Gazz eliminates Choco Mucho as Army completes semis | Inquirer Sports

PVL: Petro Gazz eliminates Choco Mucho as Army completes semis

/ 08:06 PM July 30, 2022
Aiza Maizo Pintillas

PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Petro Gazz played the spoiler role, shattering Choco Mucho’s semifinal hope with a 28-26, 25-21, 25-16 victory to finish fifth in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference on Saturday at San Juan Arena.

The also-ran Angels (2-4) leaned on the troika of MJ Phillips, Myla Pablo, and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas to finish the midseason tournament with two straight wins and seven points for a decent fifth place finish.

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Phillips poured a game-high 19 points built on 16 attacks, two blocks, and an ace. Pablo scattered 11 attacks and three blocks for 14 points on top of 10 digs, as Pontillas chipped in 11 markers and six digs.

Petro Gazz’s victory also handed the last semis berth to Army Black Mamba (3-3), which completed the cast that includes Creamline (5-1), PLDT (4-2), and  Cignal (4-2) as well as guest teams Kobe Shinwa University of Japan and KingWhale Taipei for another round robin. 

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Remy Palma also provided the energy with her on-court antics and contributed eight points, including two aces. Nicole Tiamzon added seven markers, while libero Cienne Cruz had 20 digs and eight excellent receptions as Bang Pineda missed the game.

“We’re happy to end the conference with two straight wins and we were able to fix our struggles. Hopefully, we sustain this kind of performance to the next conference,” said Petro Gazz assistant coach Rald Ricafort in Filipino after calling the shots for two straight games in lieu of coaches Jerry Yee and Arnold Laniog.

“Our team really struggled from our (four straight losses). I’m glad that we were able to fix our issues internally even though we didn’t make it to the semis.”

The Angels displayed grace under pressure in the first set when they squandered a 23-21 lead as Ponggay Gaston’s back-to-back kills and Bea De Leon’s attack gave the set point advantage to the Flying Titans, 23-24. Pablo and Pontillas saved Petro Gazz before Phillips brought back the lead on their side, 26-25, but Palma’s service error caused another tie.

Pontillas delivered a clutch kill followed by an illegal attack violation from Kat Tolentino that gave the first set win to Petro Gazz, which set the pace for its dominant performance in the last two sets.

Choco Mucho placed sixth losing four of its six games and missing the post-conference round after back-to-back semis appearances in the last two Open Conference.

Gaston led the Flying Titans with 13 points, 16 digs, and 12 excellent receptions, while Tolentino was held to 11 points, struggling in her attacks with an eight-of-39 spiking rate.

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TAGS: Choco Mucho Flying Titans, MJ Phillips, Petro Gazz Angels, PVL
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