Angels complete semis cast

Photo courtesy of PVL

Games Thursday:

(Philsports Arena)

4:00 p.m. — PLDT vs Choco Mucho

6:30 p.m. — Army vs Cignal

Petro Gazz completed the semifinals cast after booting out Chery Tiggo from contention with a 25-21, 28-26, 25-21, sweep in the penultimate elimination round playdate of the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the jam-packed University of San Agustin Gymnasium in Iloilo City.

The Angels behind hometown pride Aiza Maizo-Pontillas shattered the Final Four hopes of the Crossovers with its sixth win in eight games tied with semis-bound F2 Logistics.

Pontillas, a native of Passi City, scattered 13 points – all off attacks – for Petro Gazz.

“I’m happy and really enjoyed playing here in front of the home crowd,” Pontillas said in Ilonggo.

Petro Gazz sent Chery Tiggo down to a 4-4 slate and gave idle PLDT, which holds a 5-2 mark, a free ride into the best-of-three semis slated to begin on Saturday.

After a great escape in the extended second set, the Angels were again threatened by the feisty Crossovers late in the third frame after seeing its six-point lead cut to 22-20.

But Petro Gazz kept its composure with MJ Phillips hitting a kill to close out the match.

Grethcel Soltones had 14 points and nine digs, Remy Palma got 12 markers while Phillips had four kill blocks in a 10-point outing for the 2022 Reinforced Conference champions.

“You can feel that this was really an important match for us and Chery Tiggo. Both teams really want to get this win. I really thank these Angels for stepping up especially in the most crucial time,” Angels coach Oliver Almadro said of his team, which ended the elims with a four-game win streak.

Defending champion Creamline, which is playing Akari as of press time, currently occupies the top spot and is tipped to clinch the no. 1 semis seeding. The Final Four pairings will be determined at the end of the elims round on Thursday.

The Angels had some scary moments in the second set as the Crossovers made a scorching run to erase a 24-17 deficit. Soltones scored on an off-speed hit to give Petro Gazz the set point advantage only to see Chery Tiggo charge back with seven unanswered points to force a deuce at 24.

Palma scored on a quick kill to put the Angels back at set point but Soltones overcooked her serve for another tie. Pontillas connected a down-the-line kill before Mylene Paat punched back with a cross for a 26-26 tie.

Pontillas penetrated the defensive wall of the Crossovers before Sabete finished off the frame with a cross for a 2-0 match lead.

Cza Carandang led Chery Tiggo with 16 points with all but one coming off kills while Paat had 15 markers and 12 digs in a losing effort.

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