MANILA, Philippines – Showing mental toughness, Petro Gazz rediscovered his winning ways, also fending off the losing but dogged Farm Fresh, 25-22, 19-25, 25-16, 26-24, to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the Premier League in 2023. The second All-Filipino Volleyball League (PVL) conference will be held at the Philsports Arena on Tuesday.
After starting the tournament 4-0, the Angels fell to four straight losses. Coach Timmy Sto. Tomas challenged his players to use these setbacks as motivation, especially since they need to win in their remaining matches.
“I said earlier that it is more of a motivation for us to continue to perform well. In the last few games, we faced stronger teams with a higher caliber, so these teams only pushed us forward and allowed us to improve our skills,” Sto said. Thomas in Filipino
“In our last four matches, we lacked patience on the court, even though we were always leading by four or five points, but then we lost a set again, otherwise the opponent will force a close fight. What matters is how you deal with these types of situations, patience on the court, mental toughness and discipline.”
The Angels showed their composure against the Foxies who, captained by Trisha Tubu, took them to the limit. An ace by Alyssa Bertolano and a two-set error by Djanel Cheng put Farm Fresh on the verge of winning the fifth set with a 24-23 lead.
Petro Gazz dodged a bullet from Kate Santiago and forced a two-out, before Grethcel Soltones finished off the run with kills, ending the Angels’ skid and improving their record to 5-4 in the sixth.
“After these losses, my attitude is that we have nothing to lose,” said Soltones, who scored 16 points and made 12 excellent receptions. “Coach Timmy told us to take our time. Our blocking and defense were good. My setter and I also communicated, and I followed her suggestion [to gain match point] and the final point was my decision.”
Jonah Sabete, who was the top scorer with 21 points, including three blocks, credited her game to point guard Djanel Cheng’s trust and constant reminders from her coaches.
“I always remind myself to keep working and follow our coaches’ system, which is that when you make a mistake, you make up for it by getting a point. It’s also huge that Djanel trusts her wing spikes,” Sabete said in Filipino.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas also played a key role for the Angels, scoring 13 points and 12 receptions. Cheng had 22 perfect sets, while KC Gadones and Marian Buitre each added 10 points.
Petro Gazz will face Akari on Saturday and then complete the qualifying round against PLDT on December 5 and will need to win both matches.
“There is always pressure, so we have to remember that. We need to acknowledge this and then deal with this pressure. We train every day and work hard to continue to show our capabilities,” Sto said. Thomas.
Farm Fresh lost their eighth of nine games and Tubu showed the way again with 20 points. Zam Nolasco and Rizza Cruz each scored 11 points, while Santiago and Bertolano added seven points each.