Petro Gazz denies Choco Mucho of PVL playoffs contention

Petro Gazz’s MJ Phillips ends Choco Mucho’s hopes of a playoff spot (PVL Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Petro Gazz Angels eliminated the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the race for a spot in the playoffs after sweeping them, 28-26, 25-21, 25-16, during the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference final elimination phase.

Needing one last win to tie the Army-Black Mamba for the fourth spot with nine points, a disappointing loss at the hands of Petro Gazz ended the Flying Titans’ hopes of another playoff push and fell to the sixth spot with a 2-4 win-loss record.

Despite a momentum-clinching five-set thrilling win against the PLDT High-Speed Hitters during their last match, the Flying Titans still faced slow start woes and were always hounded with their unforced errors.

Petro Gazz then capitalized on the situation and were the more consistent squad in terms of offensive production led by MJ Phillips who dropped 19 points built from 16 successful attacks, two blocks, and one ace.

The Angels were coming off a huge win against the Cignal HD Spikers, handing them their first loss of the season and ended the elimination phase on a two-game winning streak.

Choco Mucho tried to mount a run in the second set after Kat Tolentino and Ponggay Gaston came alive at the right time but a Myla Pablo counter shut their hopes of tying the match at one set apiece.

The Petro Gazz surge continued in the third and final set as veteran hitter Aiza Maizo-Pontillas chipped in a crucial personal run midway in the set on her way to 11 big points.

Aside from Petro Gazz’s balanced attack, the duo of Phillips and Pontillas’ middle blocking gave a huge spark during the win and limited Choco Mucho’s Tolentino to just 11 points.

During Choco Mucho’s hard-earned win against PLDT, the former Ateneo and national team superstar spiker uncorked 24 huge points and was always responsible for the huge scoring chunk of the Flying Titans.

After the last round of the elimination phase, the top four teams that will advance to the PVL playoffs are Creamline, PLDT, Cignal, and Army.