PVL: Petro Gazz grinds out win vs Choco Mucho behind Vander Weide’s 25
MANILA, Philippines — Lindsey Vander Weide made an explosive 25-point debut to lift Petro Gazz past Choco Mucho, 27-25, 25-22, 28-26, to kick off their title-retention bid in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on a high note on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.
The American import unleashed 20 attacks, three blocks, and two aces as the Angels got the last laugh against the Flying Titans, led by the 26-point effort of Odina Aliyeva, after a tight three-set encounter that lasted for an hour and 41 minutes.
Besides Vander Weide, Jonah Sabete, one of the four holdovers from their 2019 championship, also delivered the goods for Petro Gazz with 14 points, 14 digs, and 11 excellent receptions.
Setter Djanel Cheng dished out 19 excellent sets, as Myla Pablo and MJ Phillips chipped in eight points each, while libero Bang Pineda protected the floor with 18 digs and 14 receptions.
“What can I say about Lindsey. She’s okay with the locals attitude-wise, She’s very coachable. So, instructions-wise, she delivers. We’re very blessed coming from last Reinforced Conference that all our imports are kind,” said Petro Gazz coach Rald Ricafort.
Petro Gazz averted a slow 7-10 start in the third set by scoring nine straight points capped by Vander Weide to take a 16-10 lead.
But Aliyeva refused to give up for Choco Mucho, drilling nine points in the stretch to force a neck-and-neck duel and a deuce, 24-all. Sabete brought her team back at matchpoint, 25-24, but committed an attack error.
Phillips nailed a big block on Aliyeva before Maika Ortiz tied the set anew, 26-all, with her running kill. However, the Choco Mucho import lost steam committing a service error and an attack error to surrender their first match.
The Angels will face the Creamline Cool Smashers on Tuesday as an early rematch of the 2019 Reinforced Conference finals.
“We’re not thinking of a title defense. Our priority is to improve this conference, coming off a bad performance last conference,” said Ricafort.
Uzbek-Azabrjain spiker Aliyeva carried the cudgels of the Flying Titans, nailing 25 kills for 26 points on top of 13 receptions. Des Cheng had an all-around game with 10 points, 13 receptions, and 10 digs, while Kat Tolentino was held to seven markers.
Choco Mucho tries to bounce back on Thursday against F2 Logistics, which also lost to Chery Tiggo in straight sets, earlier.
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