MANILA, Phillippines – PetroGazz leaned on its talented pair of imports as it hammered out a shock 25-22, 26-24, 25-22 victory over reigning titlist Creamline to boost its ambitious title bid in Season 3 of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Sunday night, May 26, at the Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Cuban national team mainstay Wilma Salas unleashed a match-best 20 points while Janisa Johnson unloaded 18 as the Angels pulled off a mammoth upset over the heavily favored Cool Smashers, who won both the Open and Reinforced Conferences last year.
It didn’t help Creamline’s cause that league MVP Alyssa Valdez sprained her ankle in the 2nd set.
The Arnold Laniog-mentored Angels also spoiled the debut of Creamline’s new coach, Chinese Li Huanning, who took over from Tai Bundit.
Earlier, Pacifictown Army bucked a third-set meltdown in turning back Bali Pure, 25-20, 25-16, 24-26, 25-23, to set in motion its own title campaign.
Imports Janelle Jordan and Olelna Lymareva-Flink alternated in delivering the blows and finished with 15 points each as the Lady Troopers did well in their return to the league after once reigning supreme in the Shakey’s V-League, which was the predecessor to the PVL, more than a decade back.
Former two-time league MVP Jovelyn Gonzaga showed she is way past the knee injury that shelved her for two years and chipped in 8 hits.
It helped Pacifictown that Bali Pure played minus one of its two imports, Danjiela Dzaovic, who was in uniform but decided to sit out after her International Transfer Certificate (ITC) wasn’t processed in time before tipoff.
The other reinforcement, Alexandra Vajdova, did her best to put on a fight and carry the Angels on her shoulders but her match-high 20 points weren’t enough to offset the power-spiking tandem of Jordan and Lymareva-Flink.
“Of course, it wouldn’t finish the way it did in this game if they have two imports who played,” said Pacifictown coach Kung Fu Reyes in Filipino.
Honey Royse Tubino also contributed well with 9 points.
The Lady Troopers will go for the solo lead as they tackle Creamline on Wednesday. – Rappler.com