By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
FORMED just less than two years ago, the Petro Gazz Angels are steadily carving a name for themselves in the local volleyball scene. And they are set to take further flight next week as they represent the country in the 2019 Taichung Bank International Women’s Invitational Volleyball Tournament in Taiwan.
Happening from Sept. 15 to 19, the Angels will pit their skills against some of the top club teams in Asia — including those from China, Japan and Thailand — with the end view of not only performing well but also gaining valuable collective experience which they could use in their campaign in the Premier Volleyball League.
In a press conference on Tuesday at Brothers Burger at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, the team shared that it is looking forward to competing at the Taichung Bank tournament and representing the Petro Gazz brand and the country.
“The Taipei tournament is a big opportunity for our team. There we will be competing against club teams in China, Japan and Thailand. The competition will be high,” said Petro Gazz coach Arnold Laniog.
“The experience we will get there will be a big help for us, particularly in the ongoing PVL Open Conference,” he added.
For team captain Chie Saet, the Taiwan tournament should provide a gauge of where they are as a team.
“This is a gauge of where we are as a team. We are happy that we were selected to represent the country and we feel blessed to be given much support. We will try our best to have a favorable result in the tournament,” said Ms. Saet.
Petro Gazz, whose campaign has the backing of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc., will parade an All-Filipino team.
The team will have Ms. Saet (setter), Stephanie Mercado (outside hitter), Cherry Rose Nunag (middle blocker), Djanel Welch Cheng (setter), Jessy De Leon (MB), Maricar Baloaloa (opposite hitter), Rica Jane Enclona (libero), Alyssa Layug (OH/MB), Jonah Sabete (OH), Cienne Cruz (libero), Jeannette Panaga (MB) and Jovieyn Prado (OH).
The Year 2019 has been a banner one for Petro Gazz, highlighted so far by winning the PVL Season 3 Reinforced Conference.
In the ongoing Open Conference, the Angels are currently tied for second place with a 5-2 record and have won four straight matches.
Petro Gazz officials said that the Taichung Bank invitational tournament is further testament to how far the team has gone in just short a time, which they attribute to the conscious effort to bring in the right personnel to make up the team.