Motolite bared its teeth in the closing stretch of the fifth set to breathe new life to its semifinals bid after snapping PetroGazz’s eight-game winning streak with a 22-25, 25-13, 25-16, 16-25, 15-11, decision on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Down, 5-7, in the fifth, Tots Carlos, Isa Molde and Bern Flora connived in a decisive run that gave Motolite a three-point cushion that kept the Angels at bay to improve to 8-5 win-loss record and snap a two-game slide.
Carlos dropped 20 points with 17 coming off kills including the game-clinching hit that put PetroGazz’s winning run to a screeching halt. The University of the Philippines standout also had three kill blocks and spiked her stats with 21 digs and 15 excellent receptions.
“It was a hard game. PetroGazz is very very good and experienced team,” said Motolite coach Godfrey Okumu. “To us today was one of those do-or-die games like if we lose this game then maybe say bye-bye to the semifinals. By winning this game, we kept our hopes alive to make it to the Final Four. It’s a big relief.”
Molde got 12 markers while Aie Gannaban posted 10 points for Motolite, which received 37 points off PetroGazz’s errors. Flora got nine points in four sets of action while Fhen Emnas dished out 24 excellent sets for Motolite.
Motolite erased an early deficit in the fifth set with a 6-1 counterattack to take an 11-8 advantage. The Angels closed in at 12-10 but an attack from Flora followed by a Cai Baloaloa attack error put Motolite at match point.
Carlos sealed the two-hour, eight-minute match with a hit.
PetroGazz, which beat Motolite in the first round, remained at second spot despite absorbing its third defeat in 12 games.
Jonag Sabete led the Angels with 14 points including 12 kills and added 19 digs and 16 excellent receptions. Baloaloa had 11 points, Jeanette Panaga had a quiet 10-point outing while Jovielyn Prado finished with seven points, 13 digs and 15 excellent receptions.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles