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PVL: Petro Gazz completes improbable run, defends Reinforced crown

Petro Gazz overcame Cignal in four sets, 25-17, 22-25, 25-12, 25-22 in Game Two of the Finals to clinch its second consecutive Reinforced Conference title in the Premier Volleyball League, Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Coach Rald Ricafort sued for time as the HD Spikers charged back from seven points down in the fourth to pull within, 22-24, not so much to devise a play but more so of reminding his wards to keep their composure in the face of their rivals’ fiery charge.

They did as Myla Pablo fired a crosscourt hit on the Angels’ second crack on the attack to finish off the HD Spikers and crown themselves as back-to-back champions of the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

Red and white confetti rained down the court as the Angels whooped it out to celebrate their return to the PVL throne after losing to the Creamline Cool Smashers in this year’s Open Conference and limping to sixth in the recent Invitational.PVL-Reinforced-Petrogazz-vs.-Cignal-G2-Rald-Ricafort-0685 PVL: Petro Gazz completes improbable run, defends Reinforced crown News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Siyempre sobrang saya. Lalo dun sa mga players na gusto talaga naming ialay yung game sila Nang (Maizo-Pontillas), Chie (Saet), yung mga ate ng team and yun nga, knowing yung mga sacrifices na ginawa namin so sulit naman,” said Ricafort, who also credited the coaching staff for their successful title-retention drive, including Arnold Laniog, who steered the Angels to their first championship here in 2019.

Notwithstanding their second set foldup, the Angels took command the majority of the way, showcasing their firepower which the HD Spikers couldn’t match, and banking on their resiliency and cohesion harnessed by their victory here and a couple of runner-up finishes, both in the Open Conference, also in 2019.

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Lindsey Vander Weide spiked her conference-long brilliance with a 19-point performance, fewer than her 34-point explosion in their tough 25-21, 27-25, 37-35 Game One win last Thursday but more than enough to steer the Angels to a repeat of their feat over the Creamline Cool Smashers.

The heavy-hitting import went on to clinch the Best Import and Finals MVP awards.PVL-Reinforced-Petrogazz-vs.-Cignal-G2-0545 PVL: Petro Gazz completes improbable run, defends Reinforced crown News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Remy Palma also stepped up big, backing Vander Weide with 18 points while Pablo wound up with 17 and MJ Phillips chipped in 12 markers with Djanel Cheng anchoring their victory with 26 excellent sets.

Ces Molina fired 14 points while import Tai Bierria came alive late in the fourth to rally the HD Spikers but her 12-point effort went down the drain. Roselyn Doria added 11 points while Rachel Anne Daquis ended up with six points.

So overpowering were the Angels that they finished with 59 attack points, 21 more than the HD Spikers and dominate the net in defense, finishing with 12 blocks against Cignal’s eight.

The Angels, who debuted in the PVL with a fifth place finish in the 2018 Reinforced and improved to fourth in the Open Conference. The Angels made it to the top in only their third conference in the 2019 Reinforced.

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