Angels vow to regroup, seek 'rubber'
Games tomorrow (Saturday)
2 p.m. – PacificTown Army vs BanKo-Perlas (for third)
4 p.m. – Creamline vs PetroGazz (for title)
MANILA, Philippines — The PetroGazz Angels hope to put all the pent-up emotions of their Game One loss to the Creamline Cool Smashers Wednesday behind and put their act together again in tomorrow’s Game Two of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Finals at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Foremost is to minimize their errors, which the Cool Smashers said they pounced in to pound that 24-26, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 victory that put the latter within a game from completing a 13-game sweep after dropping their opening day game to the Angels for a third straight championship in the league organized by Sports Vision.
The defending champions scored 31 points off the Angels’ miscues, 15 more than they yielded in a match that also saw the Cool Smashers dominated the power-hitting PetroGazz import duo of Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson. Creamline piled up 57 attack points, 10 more than their rivals as Salas and Johnson were held to a combined 38-hit effort.
Salas and Johnson finished in the top four in scoring after the double round elims with the former scoring 48 points in their two-game sweep of the BanKo-Perlas Spikers in the Final Four and the latter pooling 36 points.
“They did their homework,” said Johnson, who with Salas combined for a forgettable 32-of-101 attacking clip in the series opener. “Of course, they have to study hard because it’s the Finals and they did go.”
But PetroGazz coach Arnold Laniog pointed to their errors as what hastened their downfall.
“It’s the errors that did us in,” said Laniog. “As I’ve always said, on top of the mental game, it’s the side which wants it more. And based on the stats, it’s Creamline.”
The last PetroGazz miscue – albeit controversial – cut short what could’ve been a big Angels’ fightback from 22-24 in the fourth set. With PetroGazz trying to save a match point, Cherry Nunag was called for an overreach, a call the Angels vehemently protested to no avail.
In fact, the 5-11 Nunag insisted the ball never grazed her hand as she tried to stuff it after teammate Jonah Sabete’s spike was foiled by Creamline’s defenders.
“It’s not overreach since it didn’t hit my hand,” said Nunag.
The Angels actually thought the call went to their favor as they set up for another rally until the referee blew a late whistle, calling Nunag for overreaching which paved the way for Creamline’s victory.
Still, the Angels vow to regroup, strike back and force a decider on Sunday.