BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Petro Gazz ace Grethcel Soltones admitted that she felt very excited to face her former team PLDT on Tuesday night.
“Actually excited ako nung nalaman kong PLDT pala ‘yung next na makakalaban namin,” said Soltones moments after Petro Gazz’s four-set win over PLDT.
She felt even more excited at the chance to meet his old mentor Roger Gorayeb once more.
Since 2014, Soltones and Gorayeb were inseparable.
The 5-foot-8 spiker had been under Gorayeb since 2012 in San Sebastian. She also played under him in the club scene — with BaliPure in 2016, PayMaya/Smart in 2018, and in PLDT in 2019.
And so when they crossed paths again — albeit on opposing ends — Soltones made sure to impress.
The 25-year-old native of Catmon, Cebu finished with 10 points, 15 excellent digs, and 14 excellent receptions. Meanwhile, Petro Gazz moved to a 3-1 standing to tie Chery Tiggo at the second place.
“Pero iniisip ko lang talaga is ibigay yung best ko.
“Kami kasi… ‘Yun nga, kasi sabi ni coach, kailangan naming matrabaho ‘yung connection namin sa bawat isa. And as a player, as an individual, kung sa’n ka babawi, especially if wala kang laro now. Kasi hindi naman all the time atake so sa ibang aspect,” said Soltones.
“Dapat babawi ka. So in short kailangan mong maka-adjust agad ‘pag wala kang laro.”
Soltones joined Petro Gazz along with PLDT teammate Jerrili Malabanan. She forms a star-studded Angels lineup with Myla Pablo, Ces Molina, Ria Meneses, Remy Palma, and Kath Arado.
The roster alone makes Petro Gazz one of the title favorites in the country’s first-ever professional league.
Still, Soltones insisted that the team will have to refine their chemistry even more to be an actual threat to the title.
“Sobrang big help sila sa akin, hindi lang sa volleyball. Natutulungan rin nila ako as a person outside sa laro dahil tinatrato talaga namin ‘yung bawat isa as family at sobrang comfortable namin sa bawat isa.”