The Petro Gazz Angels bounced back in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference with a gritty 25-20, 26-24, 25-23 sweep of the BaliPure Water Defenders on Tuesday, August 3.
The Angels avenged a sweep loss to the Chery Tiggo Crossovers last game and quickly tied them up at 5-2 in the playoff race at the expense of the 2-5 BaliPure’s contention hopes.
Grethcel Soltones topscored for Petro Gazz with 14 points off 9 attacks, 4 aces, and a block to win Player of the Game honors, while block leader Ria Meneses chipped in 8 points with 4 rejections.
After coming up short in two hard-fought sets, the Water Defenders made their last stand with a 17-16 lead midway through the third off a Bern Flora hit.
However, three late attack errors by team star Graze Bombita spelled doom for BaliPure as the Angels floated away in the end by the slimmest of margins.
Bombita, the first-ever pro PVL Player of the Week, led all scorers in the tough loss with 18 points, all off attacks.
Petro Gazz can boost its entry into the semifinals on Thursday, August 5, but it will have to go through the red-hot Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors in a 6 pm match.
On that same day at 3 pm, BaliPure can start salvaging what’s left of its campaign with a win against the also-ran PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters.
Sta. Lucia makes quick work of Perlas
The Lady Realtors continued their streak right after Petro Gazz’s win with a sweep of their own, albeit more convincingly, 25-13, 25-18, 25-16, against the reeling Perlas Spikers.
After starting the conference at 1-3, Sta. Lucia rocketed back to contention with its fourth straight win for a 5-3 record, while Perlas plunged near the bottom at 1-5 and officially out of the running.
MJ Phillips continued her strong mid-conference run with a game-high 16 points off 13 attacks, 2 blocks, and an ace, while Mika Reyes showed up for 9 markers with 3 aces.
After practically draining the Spikers’ desire to fight with two blitz set wins, the Lady Realtors went for the kill early in the third with a 5-1 start leading to a 14-7 advantage.
Perlas eked out a last gasp 4-1 rally capped by back-to-back Sue Roces hits to inch within 4 points, 11-15, but Sta. Lucia dashed all comeback hopes with a 6-3 response, ending with consecutive Phillips points for the insurmountable 21-13 gap.
Jho Maraguinot led the way in the loss with 8 points, all off attacks, in just two sets, while Roces also fired off 8 markers across all three frames.
With Sta. Lucia and Petro Gazz tied at five wins apiece, one of them will have to move ahead of the other in their must-see match at 6 pm on Thursday, August 5.
While those teams figure out their potential semis spots, Perlas can just play the spoiler role as its figure in a Friday, August 6, 3 pm, battle against defending champion Creamline Cool Smashers. – Rappler.com