Surging Angels foil Lady Warriors, bolster PVL bid
MANILA, Philippines – PetroGazz battled back from huge deficits, including a stirring rally from 9 points down in the 4th to hack out a 25-19, 20-25, 28-26, 25-21 victory over Pocari-Air Force in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference on Thursday, May 30, at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Ukrainian Olena Lymareva-Flink fired 30 points, including 25 spikes as the Angels picked up their 3rd straight win after dropping their first 3 games to boost their quarterfinal drive.
“They just didn’t give up. At least they’re playing with determination but we have to work and check on our slow starts,” said PetroGazz coach Jerry Yee.
At 3-3, PetroGazz tied its victim at 4th, just half-a-game behind joint second placers PayMaya and BaliPure (3-2).
Tacloban later joined PetroGazz and Pocari in 4th with a 25-20, 25-22, 27-25 victory over Iriga-Navy, ousting the Lady Oragons from the quarters race of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
The top two teams after the single round elims advance to the semifinals outright with the next 4 to dispute the two other seats in the Final 4 in another single-round quarters phase of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.
The Angels actually squandered a 24-22 lead in the pivotal 3rd frame but saved a set point at 24-25 by winning 4 of the next 5 points to go 2-1.
But the defending champions – who lost ace setter Wendy Semana to a right ankle sprain in the second set – came out of the 4th set in fiery form, taking the first 6 points before pulling away by 9 at 13-4, only to crumble in the face of the Angels’ mighty comeback.
With Flink on the firing end, the Angels charged back and tied the count at 15. Then after falling behind again by two at 15-17, they racked up 4 straight hits then fended off the Lady Warriors’ own fightback to clinch the crucial win.
Anastasia Trach, also from Ukraine, backed Flink with 17 markers while Cherry Nunag scored 8 points and Chie Saet produced 39 excellent sets.
Myla Pablo paced Pocari with 20 points, including 18 kills, while American import Maddie Palmer came up with 17 points with 30 excellent receptions and 11 digs.
Earlier, Cignal HD drew another solid game from ace hitter Marck Espejo as it smothered Instituto Estetico Manila, 25-20, 25-19, 25-16, to seize the solo lead in men’s play.
Espejo, who is set to play in the Japanese V1 League after the conference, fired 17 hits to power the HD Spikers to their second straight win for a 3-1 overall card. IEM fell to 1-3. – Rappler.com
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