ANTIPOLO --- PetroGazz’s journey to its breakthrough Finals began early this year during their build-up for the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference.
“Going back dun sa aming team building. Yung sinet namin na [goal] na hopefully maabot is to go to the Finals,” said Angels coach Arnold Laniog, who took over the reins from the now consultant Jerry Yee. “But talagang once na ma-reach na namin yun ay ibang usapan na talaga.”
Months after that, PetroGazz is now two wins away from hoisting the golden hardware.
The Angels forged a Finals date with defending champion Creamline on Saturday after booting out BanKo, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17, in Game 2 of the best-of-three Final Four.
Game 1 of the best-of-three championship is on Wednesday.
“Na-reach na namin ang target namin pero since na nandito na kami ibang usapan na ‘yan. Ibibigay na lahat. Bigay todo na ‘to, to get the championship,” said Laniog.
The Angels’ success could be attributed on a recruitment coup they did after tapping high scoring imports in Cuban Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson.
The duo was just unstoppable and fueled PetroGazz’s drive to the reach the Finals.
“It’s a great feeling, it’s the Finals of course,” said Johnson, who averaged 18 points per game in the semis.
“We’ve been practicing and working hard the whole season for this moment. We know it’s not over yet but we are one step closer to what we’ve been working hard the whole season,” added Johnson, who is in her first Finals appearance after winning it all in a tournament in France two years ago. “I think we’re right there so we’re gonna keep working and give our all.”
Salas, who averaged 24 points in the semis, came in on the same day of PetroGazz’s debut match and since then slowly cemented her reputation as arguably the best import so far to step foot on the league.
Now, Salas is just a couple of wins away from helping the Angels write history.
“I’m so excited because it’s my first time here and I feel happy for this. We’ll just wait for our next game,” said Salas, who last played in the championship round three years ago in Azerbaijan.
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