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Petro Gazz takes down Akari, punches PVL semis seat

Gretchel Soltones fired 20 points for the semis-bound Angels. PVL
By Stewart Tan

MANILA—Petro Gazz overcame a third-set hiccup to beat Akari, 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16, and clinch a semifinals seat in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All Filipino Conference on Thursday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Grethcel Soltones waxed hot for the Angels with 20 points while veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas added 15 markers, Remy Palma scored 13 points and Jonah Sabete and MJ Phillips put in 11 and 10 hits, respectively, for the Angels (5-2).

“That’s our realistic goal, to be in the semifinals first. Sabi nga namin, we’ll work hard to reach that (goal), and then let’s take it from there,” said Petro Gazz coach Oliver Almadro. “And if the Lord will give us the opportunity to be in the finals, we’ll be happy.”

The Angels poised themselves for a sweep of the Chargers with convincing wins in the first two frames but the latter stunned their foes with a fast start in the third, seizing an 8-3 lead. 

The Angels did tie the count at 12 but the Chargers proved far from being finished, moving to set point at 24-21 on Janine Marciano’s back-to-back kills before snaring the win on a Krich Macaslang attack.

Phillips then anchored the Angels’ fourth-set romp, scoring on a quick play before foiling Camille Victoria upfront to help stretch Petro Gazz’s lead to 19-11. Phillips again hammered out a vicious kill that made it 22-14 en route to a four-set win.

Erika Raagas fired 19 points for Akari, which fell to 2-5, but no other Charger scored in double figures with Dindin Manabat settling for nine hits on in-and-out stints in the last two sets.

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