Petro Gazz has made its way back to the biggest stage of the Premier Volleyball League, Sunday afternoon.
Flaunting another balanced offensive connection, the Angels soared to their second straight Finals appearance, leaving the BanKo Perlas Spikers in their wake, 28-26, 25-17, 25-17, in the 2019 PVL Open Conference semifinals series at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
“Once na na-build talaga namin ‘yung relationship namin, talagang na-submit namin ‘yung sarili namin to each other. [Na-]Commit namin ‘yung bawat isa sa goal namin, [so] mas naging madali ‘yung trabaho,” Petro Gazz head coach Arnold Laniog.
But for that to happen, the reigning PVL Reinforced champions had to turn back a strong opening salvo from the Perlas Spikers.
With neither team resting on their laurels, stalemate after stalemate ensued. The match opener then even swung to a deuce.
Jovie Prado and Dzi Gervacio went back and forth to give their respective squads a breather, leading up to another deadlock at 26. Jeanette Panaga then roofed Ella De Jesus to put Petro Gazz at match point, before a setting error from the Perlas Spikers gave the Angels the early edge.
From that point onward, Petro Gazz set an overwhelming pace to keep BanKo at bay.
Leading 19-15 in the second frame, Cherry Nunag nailed consecutive kills that incited the set-clinching 6-2 run. In the decisive third chapter, the Angels mounted a 23-14 and never looked back.
Prado shone the brightest for Petro Gazz’s balanced offensive barrage. She tallied a triple-double of 13 points, 11 excellent digs and 14 excellent receptions. Paneng Mercado made her presence felt with 11 markers, while Jonah Sabete contributed a double-double of 10 points and 14 excellent receptions.
Nunag chimed in nine markers, while fellow middle blocker Panaga supplied seven. Battle-tested playmaker and Petro Gazz skipper Chie Saet tossed 14 excellent sets. Defensive specialist Cienne Cruz had 18 excellent digs.
The Perlas Spikers, on the other hand, were led by Nicole Tiamzon and Dzi Gervacio.
BanKo skipper Tiamzon topscored with 15 points on top of 10 excellent receptions in a lost cause. Gervacio produced a triple-double of 14 markers, 12 excellent, receptions and 11 excellent digs that went down the drain.
Sue Roces and Kathy Bersola only managed six and five points, respectively. BanKo setter Rose Cailing tossed 14 excellent sets.
This is the fourth consecutive time the Perlas Spikers have bowed out of championship contention in the semifinals round.
The Angels now await the victor of the semis series between defending champion Creamline and Motolite. The title bout starts on November 6, Wednesday, at the same venue.
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