Petro Gazz nears PVL Finals after shutting down PLDT
MANILA, Philippines — Jonah Sabete led the balanced attack of Petro Gazz to overcome a first-set loss and take down PLDT, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18, to move on the cusp of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Finals appearance on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
Sabete delivered a game-high 18 points built on 14 attacks, three blocks, and an ace to put the Angels ahead of their best-of-three semifinal series with the High Speed Hitters.
Sabete scored most of her points in the fourth set, delivering four straight points to give Petro Gazz a 14-9 lead before MJ Phillips took charge and reach match point, 24-13. But PLDT saved five match points only for Jovy Prado to commit an attack error that handed Game 1 to the Angels.
Djanel Cheng made 18 excellent sets on top six points as five Angels scored in double figures with MJ Phillips delivering 17 points, including four blocks. Remy Palma and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Grethcel Soltones added 10 points and 17 digs, while libero Cienne Cruz had 13 digs and 12 excellent receptions.
Petro Gazz’s new coach Oliver Almadro is looking to bring back Petro Gazz to the All-Filipino Finals for the third time with a chance to end a series in Game 2 on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Almadro hasn’t reached the championship round in the pro ranks.
“PLDT is really great team. But great teams will just push us forward. They push us to our limits, so we saw our lapses, especially in the first two sets,” said Almadro in Filipino. “What’s good is these girls are really fighters. They’re humble and they’re fighters, and they really want it.”
Prado led PLDT with an all-around performance of 18 points, 14 digs, and 11 receptions. Mean Mendrez and Mika Reyes chipped in 11 points each, while libero Kath Arado had 27 digs.