PVL: MJ Phillips return comes at best time for Petro Gazz Angels
WITH SEMIS UP

MJ Phillips return comes at best time for Petro Gazz Angels

Returning Petro Gazz Angels star MJ Phillips in the PVL All-Filipino Conference

Returning Petro Gazz Angels star MJ Phillips in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –PVL PHOTO

MJ Phillips made her much-awaited return to local club Petro Gazz just in time and helped the Angels end the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference preliminary round at the top.

Phillips spent the last year playing in the Korean V-League with Gwangju AI Peppers, who had a lackluster season to finish at the bottom, contrary to the PVL campaign that the Angels are having.

“It feels good to be back, honestly. Seeing familiar faces but also seeing new faces as well,” Phillips said after injecting 11 points in Petro Gazz’s 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Nxled last Saturday at PhilSports Arena.

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READ: PVL: Returning MJ Phillips helps Petro Gazz clinch top spot

Petro Gazz finished the eliminations as the No. 1 team with a 9-2 (win-loss) card like Choco Mucho and Chery Tiggo and won the tiebreak with superior points.

Defending champion Creamline rounds out the Final Four cast at 8-3 after losing to PLDT last Thursday.

The Angels have been relying on new face Brooke Van Sickle and Jonah Sabete throughout the season and having Phillips back in the fold gives the field a different perspective heading into the single round semifinals.

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Facing the eliminated Chameleons, Van Sickle fueled Petro Gazz with 26 points from 22 attacks and four blocks, Sabete had 12 points while veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas added 11 points.

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

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“It’s been an adjustment, given like the new system and some new players like how to figure out how to work with them on the court,” Phillips said. “Our focus wasn’t there, I would say today, but we’re gonna come back stronger in the semis and give a good fight.”

Petro Gazz will open its semifinal campaign on Tuesday against a Crossovers crew filled with heavy hitters before battling the Cool Smashers then the Flying Titans, who was responsible for one of the Angels’ losses.

Phillips will be available for the Angels during the offseason of the Korean V-League, but whether she will spend longer minutes on the floor will depend on Japanese mentor Koji Tsuzurabara.

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“This game was very important to me ‘cause I just needed a trial run to see how I work with the team and the system and everything. I was a little shaky, but we’re gonna get there with more practice,” she said as Petro Gazz prepares for the round-robin semis.

TAGS: Petro Gazz Angels

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