PVL: Petro Gazz stays in semis hunt, escapes Akari
MANILA, Philippines—Petro Gazz kept its semifinal hopes alive but not without overcoming a gritty Akari performance, 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 32-30, in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at Philsports Arena on Saturday.
The Angels remained in the hunt for a semis spot after improving their slate to 6-4.
Petro Gazz had a hard time getting to the finish line, though, as it needed to avert disaster after Akari battled back in the fourth set.
“Of course, we’re happy but it was a bit overwhelming because it was supposed to be done already but it got extended. Akari didn’t give this [win] to us easily so it’s overwhelming,” said Marian Buitre, who finished with 22 points, in Filipino.
“[We’re] mostly happy. We still have a chance in the semis.”
Holding a 2-1 set lead plus a 24-19 lead in the fourth set, the Angels appeared to have the win in the bag.
Akari, however, had other plans.
Despite being eliminated hours prior to the game after Cignal’s drubbing of Nxled, the Chargers dug deep and rode on Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s hot hands to stay alive in the match.
Manabat scored three straight points to put the Chargers at set point, 25-24, but Petro Gazz managed to avoid a deciding set after a KC Galdones crosscourt kill to tie it at 25-all.
An intense back-and-forth between the two teams followed with Akari’s Fifi Sharma knotting the count again at 30.
Sharma, though, committed a service error in the next play, allowing Buitre to finally end the match and cap her 22-point outburst.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Grethcel Soltones also shone for the Angels with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Manabat tallied a game-high 26 points, Erika Raagas added 12 while Faith Nisperos scored 11 for Akari.