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Harsh welcome: Petro Gazz, Chery Tiggo school PVL newcomers Strong Group, Capital1

JR Isaga

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Harsh welcome: Petro Gazz, Chery Tiggo school PVL newcomers Strong Group, Capital1

FIERY-RED DEBUT. Chery Tiggo spiker Ara Galang reacts in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference.

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PVL veteran squads Petro Gazz and Chery Tiggo show no letup to start the 2024 All-Filipino Conference, respectively drubbing league debutants Strong Group and Capital1 in dominant sweeps

MANILA, Philippines – The revamped Petro Gazz Angels kicked off the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference with a bang, blowing out the debuting Strong Group Athletics, 25-12, 25-20, 25-12, on Tuesday, February 20.

Nicole Tiamzon made the most of an extended opportunity, finishing as the game’s lone double-digit scorer with 15 points off 13 attacks and 2 aces. Her fellow UP alumna Marian Buitre chipped in 8, while highly anticipated PVL debutant Brooke Van Sickle scored 7 with 10 excellent digs.

The kickoff double-header’s second game was no better in terms of parity, as the Chery Tiggo Crossovers mauled the PVL’s other newcomers Capital1 Solar Spikers, 25-6, 25-15, 25-15, as former F2 stars Aby Maraño and Ara Galang debuted for their new squad.

In a team filled with star spikers, Galang stood out with a game-high 12 points on 9 attacks, 2 aces, and 1 block. Former MVP Mylene Paat scored 11, while Maraño chipped in 6.

Head coach Kungfu Reyes lauded all his players in the win, and enjoyed having a “good problem” in terms of balancing his rotations moving forward.

“It’s a bit of a headache, but it’s good for me,” he said in Filipino. “Our gauge here will be who is 100% [healthy], who has matchup advantages, and who performed well in training. It’s great that all my players are reliable, and we will go to whomever is most consistent.”

“It’s great that my new teammates are easy to get along with, so I didn’t have a hard time,” Galang added. “I’m excited for every game and every training with them along with me.”

Meanwhile, Petro Gazz head coach Koji Tsuzurabara noted that his team needed plenty of improvements despite the strong debut, saying that first-game jitters got the better of them at some points.

“Today is my first game in the PVL. Everyone, all players were too nervous during their game,” he lamented. “There were some bad moments and there were a lot of mistakes. They didn’t have a rhythm. It was so-so.”

Petro Gazz will enjoy a one-week break before having its first serious challenge in last season’s finalist Choco Mucho next Tuesday, February 27, 6 pm, at the PhilSports Arena.

Chery Tiggo, meanwhile, will continue testing the league newcomers’ mettle as it takes on Strong Group at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, February 24, 2 pm. –

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