PVL: Petro Gazz hopes to clinch semis spot as schedule eases up

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Jonah Sabete (with ball) and the Angels are within peeking distance of a semifinal appearance. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Petro Gazz can somehow breathe a little better after surviving most of the biggest contenders in the Premier Volleyball League.

“Our road leading to the semifinals is becoming clearer,” Angels captain Remy Palma said in Filipino after Petro Gazz surprisingly coasted past Cignal, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17 in the All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday.After extending its winning streak to three, Petro Gazz kept itself strongly within a favorable semifinal position as it improved to 7-2 (win-loss) behind current league-leader Choco Mucho (8-1).

But even if the Angels have gone through the tough part of its preliminary schedule, they are not underestimating the teams left standing in their way to the semifinals: eliminated teams Galeries Tower on Saturday in Laguna province and Nxled on April 27.

“The elimination is not yet done so we can’t relax yet,” Palma added. “We need to finish the eliminations the right way and then see where we go from there.”

READ: PVL: Petro Gazz boosts semis bid with win over Cignal

“We are happy [to win over Cignal] but we are not underestimating our next games,” said reliable Angel Jonah Sabete after fueling Petro Gazz with 16 points built around 13 attacks, two blocks plus an ace.

Creamline sits at 7-1 while Chery TIggo slammed PLDT, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20, in Tuesday’s second match to force a deadlock at 7-2 and tighten up the race for Final Four slots.

“But like what Rem said, our future is getting brighter so we will keep on fighting,” she added after fending off a normally tough Cignal crew.

“[Coach Koji Tsuzurabara] told us that Cignal will attack relentlessly so he challenged us: What will we do to counter the efforts of Cignal, which was hungry for a win today (Tuesday)?” Palma said.

Electricity fizzles out

Petro Gazz has only been downed by two strong contenders: five-setters opposite Choco Mucho and Chery Tiggo. But before sweeping Cignal, the Angels had already stunned PLDT and defending champion Creamline.

What was supposed to be an electric matchup turned into a lull with the Angels running rings around Cignal, which is now at the brink of elimination with a 5-4 standing.

“Cignal’s main goal was to score on us, so what will be our reaction to what they will do? It’s a part of the learning process so every game day we show how we play and how we will do each of our roles,” Palma said.“We knew how important this win is so we are happy to take the win,” said setter Djanel Cheng who was instrumental after tossing 12 excellent sets.

Powerful hitter Brooke van Sickle kept the same intensity after pouring in 13 points.



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“We need to carry over this momentum that we got to the next games and we cannot relax,” Palma said. “Even if we have a good standing, it doesn’t mean that we are safe … so we will still work hard.” INQ





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