Thanks to late contributions from Cai Baloaloa, the Petro Gazz Angels came within a match of clinching the last Premier Volleyball League Open Conference semis seat, outlasting the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles, 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Gutting out wins in the second and third sets, Petro Gazz needed to rally in the fourth set. Down 10-16, the Angels rattled off the next seven points, three of which came from serve specialist Roseann Fajardo’s aces. Both squads figured in a back-and-forth late conclusion in which Ateneo had the leg up, 23-21. Baloaloa took her cue there, as Petro Gazz capped a 4-0 flurry with two of her spikes.
The win gives PetroGazz (7-5) a chance to clinch a semis berth with a win tomorrow against the Adamson-Akari Lady Falcons (0-11), as Pocari Sweat (5-7) and Tacloban (6-7) can only win a maximum of seven matches.
Petro Gazz head coach Jerry Yee lauded his team’s composure down the stretch in one of their biggest matches this season.
“Very important. Mas relaxed na tayo going to the next few games. Very big win,” said Yee. “Lahat sila nag-contribute. They wanted the win at kinapitan nila.”
Baloaloa finished with 13 points off 10 attacks, two blocks, and an ace. Captain Paneng Mercado followed closely with 12 markers.
Kat Tolentino topped the Lady Eagles with 15 markers, while fellow senior Maddie Madayag added 13. Ateneo finished the elimination round with a 10-4 record, and wait for the conclusion of the last matches for their semis seeding.
Petro Gazz (3) – Baloaloa 13, Mercado 12, Sabete 10, De Leon 9, Nunag 7, Fajardo 3, Layug 2, Saet 2, Mendrez 1, Musa 1, Cheng 0, Cruz (L)
Ateneo-Motolite (1) – Tolentino 15, Madayag 13, De Leon 10, Gaston 9, Samonte 5, Wong 4, Gandler 3, Delos Reyes 0, Gequillana 0, Raagas 0, Ravena (L)
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