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Jittery Petro Gazz rips Strong Group


‘We’re still trying to find our chemistry, so many lapses, many errors.’

AIZA Maizo-Pontillas of Petro Gazz scores over Justin Rebleza of Strong Group Athletics during their PVL All-Filipino Conference match yesterday at Filoil EcoOil Arena. The Angels prevailed, 25-12, 25-20, 25-12. | photograph by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for the Daily Tribune @tribunephl_joey

Petro Gazz hardly broke a sweat in dealing Strong Group Athletics a nasty 25-12, 25-20, 25-12 beatdown as the 2024 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference got going Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Brooke Van Sickle came up with the Angels’ first two points and that set the tone for the emphatic victory that came at the heels of their successful stint in the PNVF Champions League recently.

Overcoming some early jitters, Petro Gazz showcased its might behind Nicole Tiamzon, who walloped her way to 13 hits and two aces. The two-time Reinforced Conference champions flashed their superiority through powerful wing hits from Tiamzon, Van Sickle, Myla Pablo and Marite Espina, along with quick plays orchestrated by Ivy Perez and Djanel Cheng.

They also exhibited their dominance in blocking, 4-1.

Petro Gazz coach Koji Tsuzurabara, making his triumphant debut in the league organized by Sports Vision, acknowledged the nervous energy within the team but praised the players for adjusting.

Marian Buitre, Joy Dacoron and Michelle Morente stepped up when needed, enabling the Angels to secure victory in just 68 minutes.

“All players seemed nervous, so no good movement, so they made some mistakes,” said Tsuzurabara, who described his players’ performance as lackluster.

Van Sickle, reflecting on the match, recognized the tense moments but credited the Athletics for their spirited performance.

“It was a little tense, not really flowing as well,” said Van Sickle, who also sparkled in her first PVL stint with seven points and 10 excellent digs. “The other team also fought very well, they were scrappy, so it was good.”

Tiamzon, on the other hand, expressed satisfaction with playing all three sets but underlined the need for the team to work on chemistry and reduce errors.

“We’re still trying to find our chemistry, so many lapses, many errors,” said the former UP Fighting Maroons standout.

“We’ll go back to training and we’ll fix everything.”

The Angels came through with 42 spikes against the Athletics’ paltry 15 and pounced on their rivals’ sloppy service reception to score eight aces.

Skipper Dolly Versoza finished with six points while Jana Cane and Sheeka Espinosa added four and two points, respectively, for the Athletics.

Despite the defeat, Strong Group remains upbeat about their progress in the eliminations with coach Onyok Getigan confident in refining his team’s offensive plays to elevate their competitiveness in the coming matches, particularly after ending up with just two excellent sets.

In contrast, Petro Gazz produced 13, including seven from Perez, who also finished with three points.

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