After a silver finish in the Open Conference, Petro Gazz was supposed to be one of the top contenders in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.
However, for some reason, the Angels’ performance took a huge dip, eventually bowing out of the tournament which marked their worst finish since the 2018 PVL Reinforced Conference.
Petro Gazz, despite having an intact roster fresh from a finals appearance in the previous conference, dropped its first three assignments against Creamline, Army-Black Mamba, and PLDT which put them on the brink of elimination.
With their semis hopes clinging by a thread, the Angels still could not get over the hump as they lost in straight sets against Chery Tiggo which booted them out of contention.
“Ito yung naging pinaka struggle namin from the losses. Sabi ko nga, hindi naman bibigat yung laro… ang kailangan namin ma-solve is yung naging issues namin internally,” said assistant coach Rald Ricafort, who took over from lead deputy Arnold Laniog in the team’s last two matches.
With their disagreements finally settled, Petro Gazz showed what it’s capable of in the final stretch of the elimination round and played the spoiler against Cignal and Choco Mucho.
The HD Spikers were on their way to securing the top seed but the Angels halted their winning streak via a four-set win. Then, Petro Gazz dashed Choco Mucho’s semis chances in three sets which helped them cap off the forgettable conference with a two-game winning streak.
“Siguro lagi po kasi akong nagbibiro, sabi ko parang mas masarap manggulo like in the rankings so kami nga napunta na sa nothing to lose situation so ano pa ba yung iaano namin,” said middle blocker Remy Palma, who played a key role in the team’s two wins.
“Maraming nagsasabi bakit ngayon namin nilabas, yun nga e, from the loss, hindi rin namin masagot. Hindi rin namin masagot kung anong nangyari hanggang sa ayun nga, siguro pinaka naging key talaga namin is yung acceptance. Walang iba, hanggang sa naka-move on na lahat, natanggap namin na ito nga yung binigay sa ngayon.”
“So masaya kami hindi dahil lang sa win kung hindi dahil sa naayos namin yung struggles. Sana madala namin sa next conference,” said Ricafort.