(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2:30 p.m. – UAI-Army vs Choco Mucho
5:30 p.m. – Creamline vs F2 Logistics
Petro Gazz got the better of PLDT in a confusion-marred fourth set, pulling off a 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 27-25 victory to firm up its hold of the third spot in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference elims at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna Saturday.
The Angels survived two set points in the fourth and kept their composure after a long delay caused by a dispute over a play which PLDT coach George Pascua challenged that was however ruled unsuccessful.
The 2019 champions gained a crucial point from the unsuccessful challenge to force a tie at 24 before import Lindsey Vander Weide banged in a kill at resumption and the Angels snatched the win as MJ Phillips redeemed herself from an errant push in the previous play with a block off PLDT reinforcement Elena Samoilenko, who blew it all for the High Speed Hitters with a backrow attack mishit.
PLDT, however, didn’t sign the scoresheet, automatically placing the outcome under protest although the league said PLDT must put its protest in writing one hour after the match to make it official.
The victory thus hiked Petro Gazz’s record to 3-1 while dealing PLDT its fourth loss against a win, dampening the High Speed Hitters’ semis chances in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
“They know how important this game is. I just told them to keep their focus on executing our instructions and getting the win. It showed that we really wanted the win,” Petro Gazz coach Rald Ricafort said.
It was indeed a sorry setback for PLDT, which looked all set to forcing a decider after breaking away late in a tightly-fought fourth set to move at match point at 24-22.
But after the Angels pulled to within one, Pascua made a challenge while the ball was in play, claiming a net violation committed by a Petro Gazz player.
But it took the game officials some time before they could halt the action and when they did, the officials ruled the challenge unsuccessful with no net touch committed.
Pascua, however, insisted it was different play based on a TV account but officials upheld their decision after the video system operator found no net violation committed upon further review, consequently awarding the point to Petro Gazz, leading to another dispute, which also went to the Angels’ favor.
League rules, however, state that an unsuccessful challenge by a side during a mid-rally would cost a point against the said team and vice versa.
Vander Weide then cashed in on the High Speed Hitters’ misfortune and rammed in a kill. And though Phillips failed to wrap it up with a wayward push, she recovered with a key block off Samoilenko and the gangling Russian hitter launched a blast from the backrow that sailed long, giving the Angels the point and the match.
Vander Weide finished with 24 points spiked by 21 attacks, two blocks and an ace, while also tallying eight excellent digs and six receptions.
Phillips backed her up with 13 points while Myla Pablo and Jonah Sabete added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Samoilenko put up a game-high 29 points but came out cold from a long break.