AIZA MAIZO-Pontillas displayed vintage form as PetroGazz turned back BaliPure, 25-14, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, for a winning start in the PVL Open Conference yesterday at the Paco Arena.
One of the finest opposite spikers in the country, the 34-year old Maizo-Pontillas displayed a solid all-around game with 10 points and 14 digs as the Angels rebounded from a third set loss to win their Group B opener.
In the twilight of her checkered career which includes a UAAP championship for University of Santo Tomas, Maizo-Pontillas is simply savoring every moment in her possible final run – hoping that, conditions-permitting, she can perform in front of an audience.
“Siguro ini-enjoy ko muna yung this season muna. Hangga’t kaya ko pang maglaro. Hangga’t kaya ko pa, maglalaro at maglalaro ako,” said Maizo-Pontillas, who was acquired by PetroGazz from now-disbanded Sta. Lucia during the off-season.
Grethcel Soltones was also solid for the Angels with 12 points, 14 digs and 11 receptions, Remy Palma and MJ Phillips also scored 12 points, while Nicole Tiamzon contributed nine kills.
The Water Defenders were able to extend the match after Nicole Tiamzon committed an attack error.
BaliPure was able to save three match points before Maizo-Pontillas produced the kill for PetroGazz that closed out the one hour, 57 minute contest.
Returning coach Jerry Yee, who handled the Angels’ inaugural season in the league in 2018, praised the Water Defenders for their no-quit attitude.
“Maganda ang line-up nila. Lalaban ang mga iyan, definitely mas bata sila,” said Yee.
All but two of PetroGazz’s 13 players were fielding in, as Yee wanted to give her troops balanced exposure which will help the team in future games.
“Managing the load…we are trying to spread the playing time,” said Yee.
Phillips made her presence felt in her new position as middle, had five of the Angels’ 12 blocks.
Janine Marciano, who played for BaliPure in the now-defunct V-League in 2016 before having a long stint with Cignal HD, came through with 17 points and 10 digs.
Gen Casugod tallied four of the Water Defenders’ seven blocks to finish with 11 points.
3 p.m. – Choco Mucho vs Army
6 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Chery Tiggo