PETRO Gazz dominated the first two sets and overcame a big Tacloban fightback in the third to carve out a 25-15, 25-17, 25-21 win for a much-needed confidence booster in the PVL Reinforced Conference yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Fighting Warays played with a sense of urgency in the third set as they briefly led, 15-14, and forced the game’s final deadlock at 19-19 as the Angels turned to substitutes Kai Baloaloa, Meanne Mendrez and Estonia’s Olena Lymareva-Flink late in the match to post their first quarterfinals victory.
Bouncing back from last Saturday’s 25-18, 20-25, 24-26, 21-25 loss to defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force, Petro Gazz coach Jerry Yee made some rotation adjustments to halt a two-game slide.
”Okay sana yung first game pero bumitaw kami,” said Yee.
The Angels’ complacency in their game allowed their foes to keep the game close, but Yee was satisfied with the way his troops closed out the match.
”Nagre-relax. Pero kahit paano, kinakapitan nila. Okay pa rin kami, positive pa rin kami,” said Yee.
Lymareva-Flink had six service aces to finish with 22 points while compatriot Anastasiia Trach scored all but one of her 11 points from spikes for Petro Gazz.
Alyssa Layug, given more court time by Yee, was the best local scorer with nine points while Cherry Nunag added five markers.
Failing to rebound from its 22-25, 20-25, 18-25 loss to BanKo-Perlas last Saturday, Tacloban has lost two in a row, putting its bid for the two remaining semifinals berths in peril.
Thai Amporn Hyapha led the Fighting Warays with 16 points, Jovie Prado chipped in seven points while Patcharee Saengmuang tallied two service aces for a five-point outing on top of 11 digs.
Tacloban was badly beaten in the first two sets before making a fight in the third set.
Earlier, Fauzi Ismail came through with 21 hits while Howard Mojica chipped in 16 points as Air Force opened its men’s quarterfinals campaign with a 25-23, 25-17, 27-29. 25-20 win over military rival Army.