Petro Gazz evicts Sta. Lucia to complete PVL playoff picture

Myla Pablo and Petro Gazz ousted the Lady Realtors. PVL Media Bureau

BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE - Petro Gazz flashed superb hitting and blocking to extinguish Sta. Lucia's semifinal hopes, romping off with a 25-13, 25-21, 25-22 victory on Thursday to complete the Final Four cast in the 2021 PVL Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center here.

The Angels used strong finishing kicks in the second and third sets to frustrate the Lady Realtors, including in the third when they fought back from 15-17 by winning 10 of the last 15 points, the last two courtesy of Sta. Lucia miscues.

"This is our most convincing win in the tournament," expressed a satisfied head coach Arnold Laniog post-game. "We're happy the players responded to our game plan."

Myla Pablo was at the vanguard of the attack with 17 points with Ria Meneses flanking her with 17 markers of her own.

The Lady Realtors were in a must-win-situation and instead saw their four-game win run get halted to end the elimination round at 5-4. With that result, Petro Gazz and Chery Tiggo, both sporting identical 6-2 records, now stand alongside 7-1 Creamline and 6-1 Choco Mucho in the completed cast for the semifinals.

No longer in contention, but still going all-out is Black Mamba-Army which battled back from a set down to beat Perlas, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-13, for its third victory against five losses.

Jovelyn Gonzaga and Ging Balse-Pabayo showed the way with 17 and 14 points, respectively, as the Lady Troopers' attacks just kept hitting their marks, winding up with a comfortable 57-46 edge in spikes and a daunting 119-83 advantage in digs.

Army has no chance at making the next round, but nonetheless has a golden opportunity to close its campaign on a high at the expense of Cignal on Saturday.

In the day's first game, PLDT Home Fibr notched back-to-back wins after dropping its first six games, blanking BaliPure, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19.

Jorelle Singh unloaded 16 points while Chinchin Basas and Aiko Urdas scored seven points each to set the tone in the Power Hitters' 65-minute domination. They now turn their attention to a sibling rivalry match against the HD Spikers on Friday.

The Water Defenders, who drew just nine hits from top player Graze Bombita, absorbed their fifth straight loss after a fine 2-1 start to the season. Up next for them on Saturday is 1-6 Perlas, fronted by Cherry Nunag's 18 points in its loss.