MANILA, Philippines — Petro Gazz earned a controversial 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 27-25 victory over PLDT in a match marked by a 40-minute delay in the fourth set due to a video challenge in the Premier Enhanced Volleyball League Conference in Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna on Saturday.
The PLDT, however, are considering putting the match under protest after he failed to sign the scoresheet. PVL officials, led by commissioner Tonyboy Liao, are still in discussion with the team at the time of posting.
The Angels fought back from a 20-23 deficit on Mika Reyes’ service error, followed by Myla Pablo’s attack to cut it to one, 22-23. But Elena Samoilenko lifted the High Speed Hitters to set point, 24-22, before Pablo saved a point.
The following rally was in progress but PLDT coach George Pascua called for a challenge, which was late acknowledged by the referee whistling after Lindsey Vander Weide’s attacking error imported by Petro Gazz could have forced a fifth decisive set.
Officials still reviewed Pascua’s requested touch of the net, causing a 40-minute delay when looking for the violation. However, the challenge was ruled unsuccessful, awarding a point to Petro Gazz who tied the set, 24-all.
Vander Weide put the Angels ahead but MJ Phillips’ outside hit allowed for another two. Phillips blocked Samoilenko to bring his team back to the top, followed by the Russian’s attacking error that ended their dramatic two hour and 50 minute match – the fourth set lasted 72 minutes.
Vander Weide powered the Angels with 24 points on 21 kills, two blocks and an ace in addition to eight digs and six receptions. Phillips and Pablo had 13 and 12 points respectively.
Jonah Sabete contributed 10 points, while Remy Palma had six blocks to finish with eight scorers as Petro Gazz had 18 blocks to PLDT’s six.
Petro Gazz coach Rald Ricafort praised his protections after staying focused despite the long lull as they improved to 3-1, sending the PLDT to their fourth successive loss, slipping to 1-4.
“They know the importance of this game. I reminded them to stay focused no matter what. In these situations, they have to stick to our game plan. They really wanted to win,” Ricafort said in Filipino “We started slow and stiff. Hats off to PLDT as well, especially their import, which has great range. But I’m glad my middle blockers got up and made the crucial saves.
Samoilenko was the PLDT’s only bright spot with 29 points on 25 kills, three blocks and an ace to go along with 11 great receptions.
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