Army-Black Mamba pulled the upset rug from under Petro Gazz, 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 25-23, to snatch its first victory in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the FilOIl Flying V Arena, Thursday night.
Jovelyn Gonzaga delivered 23 big points laced with 23 excellent digs to tow the Lady Troopers to its breakthrough win in the conference after coming off a four-set loss against Creamline last Saturday.
Down by one in the fourth frame, Ivy Perez nailed back-to-back aces to power a 4-0 blast that put Army at match point, 24-21. Myla Pablo tried to keep the Angels afloat but Gonzaga immediately went for the kill right after.
“Syempre yung game namin pinaghandaan talaga namin kasi nga galing kami sa talo,” said assistant coach Rico de Guzman, who filled in for Kung Fu Reyes who was out due to personal reasons. “Talagang ni-review namin kung ano ang kulang namin sa nakaraang game.”
“Yung laro ng kabila, hindi pa yun yung laro nila e kaya sinamantala namin. Sige, kung ganiyan ang ipapakita niyo, sasamantalahin namin. Parang ganun lang ka-simple, dinaan namin sa malakas na service, kung binalik nila yung bola sa amin aatake lang kami nang maganda,” he added.
Michelle Morente scored 13 points and grabbed 11 excellent receptions for the Lady Troopers while Royse Tubino, who was supposed to skip the tournament due to schooling, made a surprise appearance and notched nine points to help her side move to 1-1 in the standings.
Perez, meanwhile, stepped up for Army with 21 excellent sets and 10 big points while Anngela Nunag collected 25 excellent digs and 16 excellent receptions.
On the other hand, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas’ 22-point and 13-dig performance went for naught as Petro Gazz, who placed second in the Open Conference and was considered one of the top contenders in the Invitationals, opened its campaign with a 0-2 standing.
Myla Pablo remained steady for the struggling Angels with 16 points on 12 attacks, three blocks, and an ace. No player broke the double-digit barrier aside from the two with Jonah Sabete chipping in eight points and nine receptions.
Army will face Choco Mucho next on Tuesday at 2:30 PM while Petro Gazz looks to score its first win against PLDT on the same day at 5:30 PM.