by Kristel Satumbaga
PetroGazz shrugged off a shaky start to score a 25-23, 25-18, 25-17 victory over BanKo Perlas and barge into the finals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference yesterday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The top-seeded Angels committed 10 errors in the opening frame but rediscovered their touch with Cuban import Wilma Salas at the forefront of their attack to sweep their best-of-three semifinal series.
They won in Game 1, 25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 25-12, last Wednesday.
It was PetroGazz’s first championship appearance since debuting in the league last year, where they seek to surpass their fifth-place finish.
Salas, a former national team member in Cuba, erupted for 23 points built on 21 kills and two blocks as the Angels refused to get intimidated from the Perlas Spikers’ sudden lineup changes that saw American import Jeane Horton debuting in the semis.
PetroGazz coach Arnold Laniog credited his team’s mental toughness in adjusting from a poor start.
“Yung mga technical naman, naaaral yan. Pero sa crucial games, mas mahalaga yung mindset talaga ng mga players, kung paano maka-adjust sa mga situations,” said Laniog.
Laniog, however, added they still needed to polish their game as they await the winner between defending champion Creamline and Pacifictown Army, who are competing for the other finals seat at press time.