Grethcel Soltones Petro Gazz PVL

Petro Gazz’s Grethcel Soltones. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Petro Gazz averted a shaky start before sending the winless Farm Fresh to the brink of elimination, 25-21, 31-29, 25-17, for its second straight win in Pool B in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.

The Angels committed 21 of their 30 errors in the first two sets but Grethcel Soltones and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas kept them afloat to sweep the Foxies, who put up a gallant stand in the second set.

Soltones showed the way with 16 points built on 15 attacks and an ace to go with nine digs, while Pontillas delivered 15 points. 

“I’m still happy because for me as a player. I know that I still have a lot to improve. My teammates also know that. We struggled in the first two sets, especially in the second set where we committed a lot of errors,” said Soltones in Filipino. “Coach reminded us that they are young but aggressive.”

Nicole Tiamzon also provided the spark off the bench with eight points in the last two sets as Petro Gazz improved to 2-1 in Pool B in third place.

“I’m happy with how my players performed today but in the first two sets, we committed 21 errors, which was maximized by Farm Fresh. I’m happy we were able to minimize it in the third. Consistency matters. If you will be consistent, you can bring this momentum towards the next game,” said Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro as they battle F2 Logistics on Thursday at 12 noon.

“[The long break] was a factor but their willingness and eagerness to make a point right away made us hasty and put us out of timing. So I told them that it’s patience and composure that will win us through,” he added.

Petro Gazz blew a 24-23 set point advantage in the second frame as Gayle Pascual scored back-to-back to save Farm Fresh and gave her squad a 25-24 lead before Remy Palma and Soltones put back the Angels on top.

Kate Santiago put the Foxies at set point advantage twice, 29-28 but an attack error by Cloanne Mondonedo allowed the Angels to tie the set before a clutch block by KC Galdones to reach set point followed by another error from Santiago to take a 2-0 lead.

Farm Fresh leaned on Pascual anew with 11 points and seven digs, while Santiago had seven points and 12 receptions only to fall to a 0-3 record.

The Foxies fight for their dear life against the Cignal HD Spikers on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.


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