BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — A night before Petro Gazz’s debut against Black Mamba-Army, Ria Meneses could not hide her excitement to hit the ground running once again.
And her performance was indeed a translation of her feelings.
The University of Sto. Tomas product delivered 16 points through a season-high nine blocks, along with six attacks and an ace in the Angels’ four-set victory against the Lady Troopers, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, in what could be the longest Premier Volleyball League match in history.
“Ako, honestly, kahapon ko pa sinasabi sa mga kasama ko na excited talaga ako sa game ngayon eh.
“Kasi parang lahat kami ang tagal naming hinintay ‘to, tapos first game. Kaya kahit ang daming aberya kanina talagang pinu-push namin matapos na ‘yung game ngayon eh,” said Meneses moments after the win.
Meneses credited the team’s pre-season build-up for her fine play.
“Sa paghahanda, grabe kasi ‘yung training namin sa bubble, iba talaga, ibang iba sa normal talaga. Kaya ayon, sana magbunga rin talaga ng maganda ‘yung lahat ng pinaghirapan namin,” said the three-time V-League Best Blocker.
During the opening set, Meneses provided the much-needed energy heading to the second technical timeout. She paved the way for Petro Gazz to overcome a rusty start and take a 1-0 advantage over Army through a 25-19 set victory.
Then, the Angels carried over the momentum and went on a 4-1 streak to start the second set.
However, due to the continuous rain here at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center, the match came to a halt. The league deemed the court unplayable due to the circumstances.
After three hours and 40 minutes of stoppage, Meneses and Petro Gazz picked up right where they left off. They took down Army despite the long lull.
Building on this first victory, Meneses hopes that the team can sustain its hot start all throughout the end.
“Siyempre lahat naman ata ang goal dito is mag-champion kasi bagong balik sa volleyball eh. Kung sino talaga ‘yung maghihirap, ‘yun ‘yung makakakuha.”