One-two supremacy: Reviewing the Petro Gazz Angels’ 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference campaign

Centered around their two powerful guest players, the Petro Gazz Angels finally made history as they clinched their first ever title in franchise history after defeating the Creamline Cool Smashers in the best-of-three finals of the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference.

After dropping Game One against the Cool Smashers, the Angels never looked back and showed dominance in the next two games to take their first title and deny Creamline a third straight championship in the league.

All throughout the tournament, Petro Gazz’s offense was anchored to their scoring duo Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson, with the former hailed by many league players–including Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez–to be one of the best players to ever compete in the league.

The sheer brilliance of these two players completely filled the gaps in the team’s system, providing both points and leadership to propel the Angels on top.ย Salas and Johnson were undeniably unstoppable all throughout the conference, finishing as the second and fourth best scorers after the elimination round with 212 and 183 points, respectively.

Both players displayed all-around games. Salas, who was hailed the Best Foreign Guest Player of the conference, proved why she was a tour de force as she finished in the top ten of four departments–first in spiking, third in receiving, seventh in service, and eighth in digging.

Johnson, meanwhile, also displayed excellence as she finished in the top ten of four departments–second in spiking and receiving, fourth in digging, and sixth in blocking. Her consistent performance, especially in the best-of-three finals, helped the Angels reach the title–and she was awarded the Finals Most Valuable Player for her efforts.

While the dominance of these two players was unparalleled, Petro Gazz particularly struggled with finding ample support from their local players. In fact, the team’s next two best scorers–middle blockers Cherry Nunag and Jeanette Panaga–scored 61 points each, only one-third of Johnson’s output.

Setter Djanel Cheng performed well in the tournament, finishing as the third best setter with 4.97 excellent sets per set. Libero Cienne Cruz, meanwhile, produced steady numbers as she finished fifth both in digging and receiving with 2.81 excellent digs per set and a 37.65 percent passing efficiency.

In terms of team statistics, Petro Gazz placed in the upper half of five out of six departments. The Angels proved their dominance in attacking as they placed first with a 31.19 percent success rate, while also leading in receiving with a 43.13 percent efficiency.

Petro Gazz also registered good numbers in the other scoring departments, placing second in serving with 2.13 average aces per set and third in blocking with 2.34 average kill blocks per set.

While their success in the Reinforced Conference was due to the dominance of their two guest players, the tournament also saw an unbalanced scoring effort for the Angels with the output disparity between the foreign reinforcements and the locals.ย In order to continue their supremacy in the upcoming Open Conference, it is imperative for Petro Gazz’s local players to step up as Salas and Johnson won’t be around anymore to carry the team’s offensive cudgels.

The Angels seek to clinch back-to-back titles as they battle it out in the upcoming 2019 PVL Open Conference.

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