Imports Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson combined for a whopping 61-point output with the Cuban ace firing a league-best 37 hits built on 35 kills and two kill blocks with 13 excellent receptions and the American reinforcement putting in 24 points with 16 digs as the Angels pumped in 70 attack points and finished with nine kill blocks.
The victory thus extended the Angels’ streak to six, including a five-game sweep in the first round of elims of the season-opening conference organized by Sports Vision while dealing the Perlas Spikers their fourth loss against two victories.
“Our focus is to take it one game at a time but coming into this game, we tend to be complacent,” said PetroGazz coach Arnold Laniog.
“But I think dropping a set would make my players realize the importance of each match, that there is no room for complacency,” added Laniog, who also drew nine points from Jeanette Panaga and a combined 10-point output from Cherry Nuñag and Cai Baloaloa.
After dropping the first two sets, the Perlas Spikers cashed in on the Angels’ shaky start in the third and took a huge 15-5 lead and held on to the finish, snapping the latter’s run of straight-set victories.
But the league leaders, who swept the Perlas Spikers, 25-19, 25-21, 25-12, in the first round, fought back in the fourth, shattering a 13-all count with a decisive 11-4 attack, capped by Johnson’s back-to-back hits. BanKo-Perlas saved three match points but veteran Dzi Gervacio committed an attack error, yielding the set and the match to the Angels.
Earlier, Creamline slowed down in the third frame but still found a way to subdue a luckless BaliPure side, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23, to close out its first round elims drive with a 4-1 slate.
Alyssa Valdez took over from imports Kuttika Kaewpin and Aleoscar Blanco, blasting in 12 kills and adding four aces for a 16-point performance as the Cool Smashers racked up their fourth straight victory after an opening day stumble to the PetroGazz Angels to firm up its hold of second place in the tournament sponsored by Mikasa, Asics and KFC.
Kaewpin backed her up with 11 points while Blanco added nine markers for the defending champions who will head next to Iloilo for the league’s first out-of-town game on Saturday against the BanKo-Perlas Spikers.