PVL: Johnson, Salas power Angels past Cool Smashers
Mark Escarlote on May 26, 2019 07:20 PM
PetroGazz shocked reigning champion Creamline in straight sets.
Balik-import Janisa Johnson and debuting Wilma Salas wreaked havoc in their first outing together, powering PetroGazz to a huge 25-22, 26-24, 25-22, upset win over defending champion Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Salas delivered 20 points in her first game in the league despite flying in Saturday night and practicing with the Angels just a few hours before their game. The Cuban reinforcement had 18 spikes and two kill blocks while Johnson, who played for BaliPure last year, finished with 16 markers for PetroGazz, which survived its season opener despite giving away 33 errors.
The Angels exploited Creamline’s spotty net defense with Salas and Johnson doing much of the damage. It didn’t help that the Cool Smashers also lost top hitter and team captain Alyssa Valdez midway in the second set to a left ankle injury.
“Luckily the result favored our team,” said new PetroGazz coach Arnold Laniog, who replaced now team consultant Jerry Yee. “Pero ayaw nating may masaktan na players like what happened kay Alyssa kanina, di natin in-expect and sana wag na maulit. But sa ganoong situation, mas nag-favor sa amin. Although nagpasok sila ng local na si (Jema) Galanza na nag-contribute naman pero iba pa rin yung Alyssa Valdez.”
The Angels weathered the late rally of Creamline, which chopped its four-point deficit to 23-22. Jeanette Panaga stopped PetroGazz’s bleeding with a kill before Jonhson’s game-winning attack.
Panaga finished with nine points while Cherry Nunag added eight for the Angels, who outgunned the Cool Smashers, 42-29, and landed 11 aces.
Valdez sustained an injury after slipping while trying to chase the ball off a block with the frame tied at 16. She had her left foot wrapped with ice and never returned in the game.
Venezuelan import Ale Blanco and Thai reinforcement Kuttika Kaewpin scored nine and eight points, respectively, for Creamline. Valdez and Heather Guino-o finished with five each.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles