Passionate Petro Gazz and favored Creamline square off

Mar 29, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – The most favored club in the Premier Volleyball League, Creamline, is expected to display its renowned firepower, but Petro Gazz is out to show off its incredible blocking that has helped it to another title challenge.

But, the All Filipino Conference finals, which begin today (Sunday) at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, will also focus attention on two coaches with various coaching philosophies and approaches.

While Oliver Almadro of Petro Gazz is taking his maiden shot at PVL glory, Creamline’s Sherwin Meneses has competed in the PVL on numerous occasions.

That came after Almadro led the Angels to a resounding 25 to 17, 25 to 23, 25 to 15 victory over the PLDT High-Speed Hitters in their sudden-death match to earn a spot against the Cool Smashers in the best-of-three series last Thursday. This was Almadro’s first appearance in the finals since he began playing in the league with Choco Mucho in 2019.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., Meneses, who is playing in his seventh finals match, will face the Angels, who they thumped in the preliminary round.

With Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Ced Domingo, and ace playmaker Jia de Guzman leading the way, the Cool Smashers maintained their dominance of the field despite the absence of captain and top-hitter Alyssa Valdez. They also swept the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in the semis.

Petro Gazz, however, thinks it has what it takes to upset the defending champion, with veteran Grethcel Soltones returning to form after a long absence, Aiza Pontillas continuing to give leadership and clutch hits, Jonah Sabete rising to every occasion, and the duo of Remy Palma and MJ Phillips eager to re-anchor the team’s net defense.

Djanel Cheng has also kept the Angels’ offense humming throughout their march to the playoffs.

Almadro, on the other hand, expressed gratitude to the Angels for welcoming him with open arms and assisting him in achieving a significant milestone in his coaching career.

“No, I truly appreciate the females because they put their trust in me right away. Also, it is a huge blessing since finals are due straight away. The UAAP champion coach, who filled the vacancy created by the current PLDT trainer Rald Ricafort last January, remarked, “Kasi everybody wants to be in this position.

The Creamline, which is vying to win the league’s premier competition, formerly the Open Conference, without Alyssa Valdez, has thus earned the opportunity to be dethroned by the Angels.

They will face off against each other for the second time in a row in the import-free conference, and they will compete in their fourth league game overall. With a 1 to 2 win-loss record in the finals versus the Cool Smashers, the Angels won the 2019 Reinforced Conference but lost the 2019 Open and 2022 Open Conference titles.

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