PVL: PetroGazz Angels: Stronger and bolder
Mark Escarlote on May 25, 2019 04:36 PM
PetroGazz sets its eyes on a podium finish this time.
PetroGazz is slowly making its mark in the Premier Volleyball League since its debut last year.
After a fourth place finish in the Open Conference, the Angels are now aiming to make it to the podium in Season 3 of the Reinforced Conference.
“Ini-aim namin ngayon higher. Kasi we started as a new team last year pero nakita namin na every conference tumataas ang standings namin,” said PetroGazz team captain Stephanie Mercado. “Tapos yung jelling namin, ‘yung teamwork namin nagi-improve. Sana this year mapataas pa namin unti-unti ang standings namin.”
The Angels, who placed fifth in the import-laden tourney, parted ways with Rachel Austero and Ranya Musa but made a recruitment coup by signing up a talented middle in Jeanette Panaga and a young versatile hitter in Jovy Prado to add more firepower to the team.
“May mga nawala sa team namin pero may mga dumagdag naman,” added Mercado. ‘Yung core ng team magkakasama pa rin so hindi siya ganoon kabigat since ‘yung mga dumagdag sa amin ay mga kilala din nating players which is sina Pangs (Panaga) and si Jovie Prado.”
PetroGazz will have a new head coach in Arnold Laniog with former mentor Jerry Yee taking the spot as team consultant. The Angels will run the same system as Laniog was Yee’s deputy last year.
“Wala namang pinagbago (sa system), same pa rin naman ang takbo ng team,” said Laniog. “Ang magiging difference kasi alam naman natin na si Coach Jerry is a man of few words ngayon mas maiiba lang ang trato ko, mas vocal na ako sa kanila.”
PetroGazz also tapped a familiar import in American open spiker Janisa Johnson, who played with BaliPure last year.
Johnson averaged 20.4 points per game and led last year’s conference with a 56.38% efficiency in reception.
Johnson will be backed by Cuban national team wing spiker 6-foot-2 Wilma Salas, making the Angels a formidable squad ready to make other established teams including defending champion Creamline a run for their money.
Returning for the Angels are local stars Cherry Nunag, Jessey de Leon, setters Djanel Cheng and Chie Saet, Cai Baloaloa, Alyssa Layug, Jonah Sabete, Rica Enclona and last year’s Best Libero Cienne Cruz.
PetroGazz will make its debut on Sunday against Creamline.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles