For the Petro Gazz Angels, a ticket to the championship round has been a long time coming.
Head coach Arnold Laniog expressed satisfaction with his team successfully booking their first finals stint after dismantling the BanKo Perlas Spikers in straight sets, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17, earlier in Game Two of the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference semifinals at the Ynares Center Antipolo.
After a minor hiccup in the opening set with a close fight against the Perlas Spikers, the Angels regained form and made quick work of their opponents in the next two sets to take the win.
Laniog commended his players for a job well done, going back to their pre-conference team building sessions where they set their goal of booking a finals appearance for this tournament.
However, the head coach knows the work doesn’t stop there, knowing how the finals round is a whole new ball game.
“Iyong mga sacrifices ng mga players ko, nagbunga. Going back to our team building, ‘yung sinet namin na hopefully maabot ay going to the finals, pero sabi ko nga na once nandoon na kami, ibang usapan na talaga,” Laniog said.
“Na-reach na naman ‘yung target namin, but since nandito na kami, ibang usapan na iyon, kaya ibibigay na namin lahat to get the championship,” he added.
Foreign reinforcements Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson, who topscored their team with 23 and 13 points respectively, expressed their excitement of getting their first championship stint in the country.
“I’m so excited because it’s my first time here and for this I feel more happy, but we only wait for the next game,” Salas said.
“We’ve been practicing and working hard all season for this moment and it’s here. Of course it’s not over yet, but we’re one step closer to what we’ve been actually working for this whole season,” Johnson added.
Despite a strong finish in the semifinal round, the Angels know they still have things to work on, particularly on minimizing their errors and maintaining focus.
Going to the final round, Johnson said Petro Gazz should hold on to their resiliency and efficiency, characters they have displayed all tournament long.
“We had ups and downs, and we knew what we had to do because this game was really important for us. So no matter what the score was, we always tried to keep pushing and if we’re behind, we kept giving more,” Johnson ended.
Photo credit: Petro Gazz Facebook page