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Tiebreaker Times


Petro Gazz dethrones Creamline, rules PVL Reinforced Conference

The Petro Gazz Angels have etched their names in the annals of Premier Volleyball League history, Sunday evening.

Picking up where they left off in Game Two, the Angels rode the crest of momentum, dethroning and dashing the three-peat hopes of the Creamline Cool Smashers, 25-15, 28-30, 25-23, 25-19, in Game Three of the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference championship series, at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

“Answered prayers. These two imports namin played a big role but again siyempre as a team talaga di naman namin makukuha ito basta-basta kung walang help ng locals,” said Petro Gazz coach Arnold Laniog.

Janisa Johnson was adjudged the Finals Most Valuable Player. She finished the match with another all-around performance of 23 points built on 19 attacks and three aces laced with 18 excellent receptions and 13 excellent digs.

Reigning Best Import Wilma Salas scintillated anew, tallying 26 attacks and four blocks en route to a game-high 30 points.

“The moment na nag-commit talaga sila doon sa goal namin, sabi ko, ‘Atin na! Di na talaga papakawalan,” he added.

Petro Gazz had a jump on things in the opening salvo. Behind their precise execution on the service area and at the net, the Angels raced to the first technical timeout. From there, Djanel Cheng started churning out the offense, unleashing the import duo of Johnson and Salas.

While Johnson and Salas stifled the defense of Creamline in a plethora of ways, the Cool Smashers struggled to find their footing, as poor reception continued to mar the defending champions the rest of the set.

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Like a well-oiled machine, the Angels kept on firing in all cylinders in the second frame. Mired in a six-point deficit at 13-20, Risa Sato provided a nudge of energy with her animated play, serving as the focal point in her team’s resurgence.

From there, the Cool Smashers showed the ‘Happy-Happy’ mantra that they have lacked in the match opener, storming back and knocking within one after a Jonah Sabete mishit, 22-23. Salas restored order to put Petro Gazz at set-point but Blanco and Sato connived to forge a deuce.

Exchanging momentum-swinging hits, the second set swung to a 28-all stalemate. After Kuttika Kaewpin hammered an off-the-block hit, Sabete overcooked another attack that brought the set count back to square one.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the third set. Tied at 22, the set came down to who had the stronger finishing kick, and the Angels found it yet again in Salas, who hammered the set-clincher.

The scales were hardly swinging early in the fourth frame as both teams refused to give way.

Knotted at 14, Jeanette Panaga and Cherry Nunag, the middle blockers of Petro Gazz, gave their team a much-needed gasp for air before a slew of errors from Alyssa Valdez and Sato let open the flood gates for a 19-15 spread. From there, the Angels cruised to the victory as Johnson put her team at championship point before pummeling the match-clincher.

Panaga, who netted six of her team’s 10 aces, had 10 points. Cheng tossed 28 excellent sets to go along two points.

On the other hand, Creamline’s two-straight championship streak came to a screeching halt after suffering its first back-to-back defeat in the import-flavored tourney.

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Former Finals MVP Jia Morado dished 35 excellent sets to out all but one attacker in the scoring column.

Valdez, who was hailed as the PVL MVP yesterday, topped Creamline with 22 points built on 18 attacks, three blocks, and an ace.

Kaewpin supplied 17 points, all coming from attacks, and 11 excellent digs while Sato chipped 10 points spiked by three blocks and an ace.mpionship point before pummeling the clincher.

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