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PVL: Petro Gazz averts meltdown vs Akari, takes 9th place


After barely missing out on a semis berth, Petro Gazz capped its 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference run with a straight-set win over Akari in the classification phase, 25-19, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 15-7, on Thursday afternoon at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Coming from a five-set defeat against Choco Mucho that eliminated them from title contention, Grethcel Soltones paced the Angels with 19 points built on 15 attacks, three blocks, and an ace, while Djanel Cheng chipped in seven points along with 14 excellent sets.

Petro Gazz, who finished as runners-up in the previous All-Filipino Conference, concluded their season in ninth place, while Akari finished their Invitational Conference campaign in 10th place.

“That’s what we reminded each other, let’s get this game, but you can’t count out Akari, they’re a very talented team, very well coached, very well prepared. Good thing na nakabwelo kami ng dalawa kasi you know naman yung team namin kulang kulang kami, as a matter of fact, wala si Remy (Palma) kanina,” said Angels head coach Oliver Almadro

Petro Gazz, who was missing the services of veteran middle blocker Remy Palma, banked on a 10-2 opening blast in the fifth set to thrash Akari’s comeback hopes.

Two costly attack and service errors from Chargers’ Eli Soyud and Lut Malaluan gave the Angels their fourth overall conference victory. The Chargers committed 35 errors for the match, six more than the Angels’ 29 miscues.

In the fourth set, Akari took advantage of Petro Gazz’s lackluster offense to force a deciding set, where the Chargers scored 19 attack points compared to the Angels’ nine.

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The Angels blew a 19-16 lead after falling victim to a late 9-1 surge by the Chargers to steal away the third set, 25-20. Erika Raagas delivered the final blow with a short tip, while Eli Soyud paced Akari, scoring three in the pivotal run.

Akari was already knocking on Petro Gazz’s doors in the second set after a 19-25 first-set showing, only trailing by three markers, 19-16. However, the Angels sailed past the Chargers with a 6-2 finishing blow, capped by a crosscourt attack from Angeline Gervacio, 25-18.

Soyud led the Chargers’ in the two-hour 35-minute match with 19 points built on 16 attacks and three blocks, while Erika Raagas was crucial in Akari’s fightback, scoring 14 points on 13 attacks. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)

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