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PVL: Petro Gazz overcomes PLDT in 4 to inch closer to Finals return


Petro Gazz inched closer to a finals return after edging PLDT in four sets, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 in Game One of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals, Saturday night at the Philsports Arena.

Jonah Sabete fired 18 points, including six in the High Speed Hitters’ crucial 12-3 turnaround in the fourth, on 14 attacks, three blocks, and an ace to go along with 11 excellent receptions while MJ Phillips added 17 points on 12 attacks, four big blocks, and an ace as the Angels closed in on another finals return after winning the Reinforced Conference title last December.

A set away from securing the win, Sabete went hot midway into the fourth frame and scored four consecutive points to ignite a 12-3 rally that transformed a slim 10-9 lead to a wide 10-point, 22-12 advantage.

Petro Gazz’s lead grew to 11 after Mika Reyes’ attack sailed out, 24-13, but the High Speed Hitters made a last-ditch attempt to extend the match with Jovy Prado kick-starting a five-to-nothing run to trim the lead to six before eventually committing an attack error which handed the win to the Angels.

“I cannot say we dominated. Talagang ang galing ng PLDT, they’re a really great team. But great teams will just push us forward and I’m always saying it,” said Petro Gazz head coach Oliver Almadro.

“Na-push nila kami to our limits, so nakita namin kung ano pa yung pagkukulang, especially nung first set at nung second set na pitpitan talaga. What’s good is these girls are really fighters. They’re humble and they’re fighters, and they really want it,” he added.

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Remy Palma chipped in 14 points in the victory while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Grethcel Soltones contributed 13 and 10 markers, respectively.

Djanel Cheng tossed 18 excellent sets laced with six points while Cienne Cruz tallied 13 excellent digs and 12 excellent receptions for Petro Gazz.

On the other hand, Prado led the way for the High Speed Hitters with 18 points built on 16 attacks and two aces to go along with 14 excellent digs and 11 excellent receptions.

Mean Mendrez and Reyes each had 11 markers in the loss while Dell Palomata and Michelle Morente finished with nine apiece.

Game Two will be on Tuesday, 4:00 PM at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

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