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Petro Gazz Fends Off Strong Akari Team for Victory

Looking to stay in semifinal contention, Petro Gazz found itself with what seemed like an insurmountable cushion. The Angels were up, two sets to one and were ahead, 24-19, in the fourth set. A young Akari squad, however, gobbled up all those match points. And it took every bit of juice Petro Gazz had to forge a 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 32-30, victory over the Chargers in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at Philsports Arena on Saturday.

“We’re very thankful for the win,” said coach Timmy Sto. Tomas. “You saw that there were lopsided sets, but those last two sets, the rallies were intense and long. So we were very lucky that we held on for those two sets.”

The Chargers had little to fight for in the match. Earlier in the day, Cignal defeated Nxled, 25-17, 25-14, 25-14, for its seventh win in 10 games—a victory that eliminated the Chargers from semifinal contention. Despite that, Akari refused to simply roll over against Petro Gazz, with Dindin Santiago-Manabat leading a gutsy fightback that stretched the fourth set.

Composure

But the Angels kept their composure and went on to nail their sixth win in 10 games, behind a 22-point performance from Marian Buitre. “Of course, we’re happy but it was a bit overwhelming because it was supposed to be done already but it got extended. Akari didn’t give this [win] to us easily so it’s overwhelming,” said Buitre. “[We’re] mostly happy. We still have a chance in the semis.” Jovelyn Gonzaga and Vanie Gandler finished with 12 points each for Cignal, which bolstered its own bid for the semifinals.

“[I’m] very thankful because of the win and we just need one win 1700951706 to be assured of the semis,” said coach Shaq Delos Santos. “I know how hard they worked in training because of our last game but all of our ‘what ifs’ were dealt with. It’s a good thing we bounced back.”

The HD Spikers’ victory came on the heels of a five-set loss to Chery Tiggo on Tuesday.