By: Ohmer Bautista
Building on their league-best start, the Petro Gazz Angels remain perched atop the standings after defeating the PacificTown–Army Lady Troopers, 25-12, 29-27, 25-15, to sweep the first round of the PVL Reinforced Conference Season 3, Saturday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Angels closed out the opening round with a 5-0 record to enter the second round unscathed. Meanwhile, the Lady Troopers dropped to an even 2-2 card.
“Ang result [sweep] naman secondary na lang sa amin. Kung talagang mag-favor sa amin ang game, kung sa amin nga mapunta yung panalo, better kasi siguro maganda ang ginawa namin,” said Petro Gazz head coach Arnold Laniog.
Petro Gazz got off to a strong start, leading by as much as 14 in the opening set, 18-4. But Army then made things interesting in the second frame, mounting a 22-17 lead and threatening the blistering set streak of the Angels, who have yet to squander a set this season.
Not wanting to end their dominant surge, Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson fueled a 6-1 rally, capped by a Jeanette Panaga ace to knot the score count at 23-all.
As both teams exchanged blows, the game saw another deadlock at 27-all. Johnson then unloaded a hit that went off-the-block, before Army reinforcement Olena Lymareva-Flink overcooked a serve, granting the Angels a two-sets-to-none buffer.
In the decisive third set, Petro Gazz doused the Lady Troopers’ fire. They planted a nine-point lead at match point, before Johnson delivered an ace.
“‘Di talaga namin intention na magpatalo kada set or what. Basta ang focus namin every time we step on the court, talagang mag-perform kami dun sa best of ability namin,” Laniog added.
Cuban national Salas hammered 27 points spiked six aces. Johnson also had a stellar outing, pouring 22 markers built on 17 spikes, three blocks and two aces.
For the Lady Troopers, Lymareva-Flink and Jenelle Jordan finished with 11 points each, while the latter netted four aces.
Petro Gazz generated 12 points in the blocking department to PacificTown’s three, as Baloaloa had three denials in her seven-point outing.
On Wednesday, Petro Gazz will try to extend their first round success into the second, as they face the BanKo Perlas Spikers. The Lady Troopers will also take on BanKo Perlas tomorrow. Both matches will be played at the same venue.