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Tiebreaker Times


Petro Gazz draws first blood in PVL bronze series as Madayag injury casts cloud

BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Petro Gazz drew first blood in the battle for third after defeating Choco Mucho in four sets, 25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 25-20 in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center here, Wednesday. 

The Angels also pounced on the sidelining of Maddie Madayag midway in the fourth, winning 10 of the last 15 points — including the last five — to cap their breakaway from a 15-all count on their way to the one-hour, 56-minute victory.

“Well, talagang iba ‘yung tournament na ito, it’s more on the mental game. Hindi na it’s all about skills. Talagang sa mental kung paano mag prepare as individual and as a team,” said Petro Gazz head coach Arnold Laniog.

Choco Mucho, which repulsed Petro Gazz in four in their elims encounter last Aug. 6, rebounded from 0-2 set down with a strong rally in the third. It even stayed in the match at 15-all in the fourth when Madayag took a bad landing and hurt her left knee.

She grimaced in pain and was in tears as she was led off the court in a wheelchair. The team’s medical staff is still assessing her condition at press time.

Still, the Flying Titans kept the game close without their skipper and even led at 20-19 on a Gaston power hit. But Kim Gequillana served into the net and Pablo pumped in three straight hits, the last ending a long rally that featured fiery changes of power shots and digs.

The Flying Titans failed to recover from there, surrendering another point on Soltones’ power serve. Then they yielded the game on Tolentino’s back-row spike that sailed long.

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The Angels still came out fresh despite the daily grind, dominating the first two sets. On the other hand, the Flying Titans struggled with their reception and offense. But facing the specter of a sweep, the latter rallied from 14-18 down in the third with Gaston anchoring their comeback with three straight hits to force a 20-all count.

Madayag, twice foiled in her running attack, scored on her third try as she negated Pablo’s stinging hit that rocked Gaston. That forced the former National U stalwart to apologize to the former Ateneo standout.

Unshaken, Gaston scored on a crosscourt attack, then Caitlyn Viray added with an off-the-block hit. Choco Mucho lived for another set on a Pablo mishit and Tolentino’s attack.

“Kanina, kung sino pinasok naming nag dedeliver. Clear na sa’min ngayon ‘yung hindrances sa game. Very emotional ang bawat sila, kaya ang bilis ma-break pagdating sa game,” added Laniog.

Myla Pablo unleashed 26 big points after scoring only three points in Game Two of the semifinals against Creamline.

Soltones chipped in 13 points along with 19 excellent digs and 16 excellent receptions. Ces Molina and Ria Meneses added 11 and 10, respectively.

Chie Saet tallied 26 excellent sets, while Kath Arado collected 29 excellent digs.

On the other hand, Ponggay Gaston, who led Choco Mucho’ fightback in the third set, ended up with 18 points and 16 receptions.

Kat Tolentino contributed 10 points while Caitlyn Viray added eight in the loss.

The Angels fell via sweep in the semifinals against Creamline. Meanwhile, the Flying Titans fought in three games before bowing down to Chery Tiggo.

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Petro Gazz will look to clinch third place tomorrow, Thursday at 2:00 PM. On the other hand, Choco Mucho will try and extend the series.

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