PVL: Petro Gazz beats PLDT in controversial game
MANILA, Philippines — Petro Gazz eked out a controversial 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 27-25 victory over PLDT in a match marred by a 40-minute delay in the fourth set due to a video challenge in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna on Saturday.
PLDT, however, is mulling over putting the game under protest after it didn’t sign the match scoresheet. PVL officials, headed by commissioner Tonyboy Liao, are still talking with the team as of posting time.
The Angels fought back from a 20-23 deficit off Mika Reyes’ service error, followed by Myla Pablo’s attack to cut it down to one, 22-23. But Elena Samoilenko lifted the High Speed Hitters at set point, 24-22, before Pablo saved a point.
The following rally was ongoing but PLDT coach George Pascua called for a challenge, which was acknowledged late by the referee whistling after Petro Gazz import Lindsey Vander Weide’s attack error that could have forced a deciding fifth set.
The officials still reviewed the net touch that Pascua was asking for, causing a 40-minute delay while looking for the violation. However, the challenge was deemed unsuccessful, awarding a point to Petro Gazz that tied the set, 24-all.
Vander Weide put the Angels ahead but the outside hit of MJ Phillips allowed another deuce. Phillips blocked Samoilenko to bring back her team on top, followed by the Russian’s attack error that ended their dramatic two-hour and 50-minute match — the fourth set lasted for 72 minutes.
Vander Weide fueled the Angels with 24 points off 21 attacks, two blocks, and an ace on top of eight digs and six receptions. Phillips and Pablo chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Jonah Sabete contributed 10 points, while Remy Palma nailed six blocks to finish with eight markers as Petro Gazz nailed 18 blocks against PLDT’s six.
Petro Gazz coach Rald Ricafort lauded his wards after staying focused despite the long lull as they improved to 3-1, sending PLDT to its fourth straight defeat, sliding to 1-4.
“They know the importance of this match. I reminded them to stay focused regardless of whatever happens. In those situations, they have to stick to our game plan. They really wanted to win,” said Ricafort in Filipino. “We started sluggish and stiff. Hats off also to PLDT, especially to their import, who has a high reach. But I’m glad that my middle blockers stepped up and made the crucial stops.”
Samoilenko was the lone bright spot for PLDT with 29 points off 25 kills, three blocks, and an ace to go with 11 excellent receptions.