PVL: Petro Gazz nips Akari in five-setter to salvage 9th place | Inquirer Sports

PVL: Petro Gazz nips Akari in five-setter to salvage 9th place

/ 04:21 PM July 20, 2023

Grethcel Soltones PVL Invitational

Petro Gazz Angels’ Grethcel Soltones in the PVL Invitational Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Petro Gazz surived the gritty Akari in five sets, 25-19, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 15-7, and sealed the ninth place in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) on Thursday at Philsports Arena.

The Angels blew a two-set lead as the Chargers forced a decider behind the efforts of substitute spikers Eli Soyud and Erika Raagas. But the veteran players of Petro Gazz restored the order in the fifth and dominated the younger team to prevail in two hours and 23 minutes.

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Setter Djanel Cheng not only paced Petro Gazz with 14 excellent sets, but she also scored seven points including a block. Grethcel Soltones also sustained her high-scoring stretch this conference with 19 points built on 15 attacks, three blocks, and an ace on top of 14 excellent receptions and 11 digs.

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“I’m happy because we were able to end the conference the right way. We have to forget the result from our past game, we can’t do anything with it,” said Cheng in Filipino after bouncing back from a five-set loss to Choco Mucho that shattered their semis hopes last Saturday.

“We will move forward from this and train again for the next conference,” she added.

Petro Gazz Angels' Kecelyn Galdones, Djanel Cheng, Aiza Maizo Pontillas PVL

Petro Gazz Angels’ Kecelyn Galdones, Djanel Cheng, Aiza Maizo Pontillas. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Jonah Sabete was also instrumental in the win with 15 points. Aiza Maizo-Pontillas had 10 points and 11 digs, while Marian Buitre stepped up with 10 markers in the absence of starting middle blocker Rem Palma, who rested in the classification match.

“We cannot count out Akari. They’re a very talented team, very well-coached, very well-prepared so good thing we were able to adjust. We missed Remy earlier. Marian Buitre and our other middle blockers delivered. We’re happy with the contributions from all of the players that we used,” said Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro.

“It all boiled down to the leadership of Cheng, Chie [Saet], Aiza, and Grethcel in the end game. We need to rest and prepare for the next [conference].”

Soyud, who came off the bench in the first two sets, finished with 19 points including three blocks. Raagas also provided the spark from the bench with 14 points and 12 excellent receptions, while Faith Nisperos had 11 points and 12 receptions against her former college coach Almadro.

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Akari only had one win in the conference from its 1-3 finish in Pool A before settling for 10th in the classification round.

Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro and Djanel Cheng after finishing 9th in the Invitational Conference. #PVL2023

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Thursday, July 20, 2023

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TAGS: Akari Chargers, Petro Gazz Angels, PVL

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