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Chemistry sparks Petro Gazz title run

Petro Gazz is far from satisfied despite ruling the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference recently.

Angels coach Rald Ricafort said they will use their newfound chemistry to their advantage in a bid to make another title run in the first and only professional women’s volleyball league in the country.

The Angels cohesiveness was in full display in the import-laced conference.

With former Oregon star Lindsay Vander Weide as reinforcement, the Angels stood up against league heavyweights to finish the preliminaries with five wins in eight matches.

They won all but one game — a straight set loss to Creamline — in the semifinals to forge a finals showdown with powerhouse Cignal.

Ricafort admitted that they don’t stand a chance against Rachel Anne Daquis and the rest of the HD Spikers if they didn’t have the chemistry and camaraderie to work as one solid unit.

“We brought the work ethic in training to actual games. You really can’t ask for anything more,” Ricafort told host Nikki Viola in the latest edition of The Athletes Tribune late Monday.

“And also, our import, Lindsey. She really got along with the local players. All of us are her friends so making key adjustments was very easy.”

Petro Gazz skipper Chie Saet agrees, saying that they are already familiar with each other as most of them are also her teammates back in the day.

In fact, Saet used to play with Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Bang Pineda with the Cagayan Lady Rising Suns, making it easier for them to develop chemistry and establish communication inside the court.

“We have great chemistry with each other,” said Saet, one of the country’s most seasoned setters.

“It’s a big factor that some of my teammates here at Petro Gazz used to be with me at Cagayan before.”

Still, the battle is far from over.

Ricafort said they are looking to stick with their current team to make another title run next season.

With that, expect the core of Saet, Maizo-Pontillas and Pineda to return as well as Djanel Cheng, Grethcel Soltones, Remy Palma, Myla Pablo, Marian Buitre, MJ Philips and Nichole Tiamzon.

“We intend to keep this team together. If we keep these local players together, I think we will go far,” Ricafort said.

“It’s really different if you have been playing together for so long. The chemistry that we have developed played a key role to our success.”

“We have very big potential. We just need to work hard and hope for the best.”

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