PVL: MJ Phillips not ruling out Petro Gazz return in All-Filipino

PVL: MJ Phillips not ruling out Petro Gazz return in All-Filipino

Petro Gazz MJ Phillips PVL

Petro Gazz Angels’ MJ Phillips.–PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–After a rather disappointing stint with Gwangju AI Peppers in the Korean V-League, Petro Gazz’s versatile hitter MJ Phillips made her much-awaited homecoming just in time for her local club’s crucial victory in the Premier Volleyball League.

Phillips suiting up for the Angels, who gave themselves a stronger position in the standings leading to the looming semifinals after improving to a 7-2 (win-loss) card with a 25-13, 25-18, 25-17 smashing of Cignal on Tuesday, in the current All-Filipino Conference has not been ruled out.


“I just landed today (Tuesday) at 5 a.m., so definitely not today. But we have to talk with management and see where we’re at, whether I can play the next game or probably in the semis, if we can make it to the semis, hopefully,” Phillips told the media on the sidelines at PhilSports Arena.


SCHEDULE: PVL All Filipino-Conference 2024

Before the start of the ongoing conference, Petro Gazz has already announced the return of Phillips with team captain Remy Palma being the first to express excitement with the return of her “buddy.”

“It’s a huge deal for me and also for the team, because we know what MJ can offer with her game, most especially now that she will be bringing experience from the international stage,” Palma previously told the Inquirer.

Phillips has backstopped Petro Gazz to the 2022 Reinforced Conference Championship before taking her act to Gwangju AI Peppers the following year where she had a contrasting result after her crew finished at the bottom with a meager five wins in 36 outings.

“My stint in Korea was all right. I mean, as everyone knows and follows, my team finished last but it was a great experience overall. I got to play at a competitive level, a very high level. I got to learn a lot, so it was good,” Phillips said.

READ: After key signings, Petro Gazz to be even better in MJ Phillips return

So far, the smart coaching of new Japanese coach Koji Tsuzurabara, rising performance of Filipino-American power hitter Brooke Van Sickle and consistent play of Jonah Sabete have been doing wonders for Petro Gazz, which sits at No. 2 behind top seed Choco Mucho at 8-1 record.

Even if Phillips was almost 3,000 kilometers away, she was following and supporting the campaign of her teammates as well as always messaging with setter Djanel Cheng.


Watching from afar, Phillips had nothing but praise for Van Sickle whom she met for the first time in the Pasig City venue dugout, saying “I think she’s a great overall player. Definitely an MVP (Most Valuable Player) contender as well.”

The duration of Phillips’ stay in the country, however, will be based on the results of the 2024 Korean V-League Women’s Asian Quota Draft.

Phillips, who was the lone Filipino drafted into the league last year at No. 5 overall, is set to throw her name in the hat once more alongside Chery Tiggo veteran Mylene Paat and Creamline ace Tots Carlos.

“I just want to prove that I can still hang with them. Obviously, [during] my stint there, our team didn’t do the greatest but I definitely still want to just keep improving my game every single time,” Phillips said.

But in the meantime, Phillips is not closing the door to lending her talents again in the remaining games of Petro Gazz against Galeries Tower and Nxled in the eliminations and hopefully in the semifinals.

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“If they need me, I mean, as long as this team wins, and I trust that they can do it with or without me, it doesn’t matter. They’re a strong enough team, so I have faith in them,” she added.

TAGS: MJ Phillips, PVL

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