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    Soltones embraces reduced role in Big 3 with Pablo, Molina

    5 days ago
    PHOTO: PVL photos

    BACARRA, Ilocos Norte — Grethcel Soltones said there’s no "I" in Petro Gazz’s star-studded roster in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

    The Angels showed a glimpse of their three-headed monster after Soltones, Myla Pablo and Ces Molina worked as one wrecking crew to beat Black Mamba- Army in four sets on Sunday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center.

    Soltones was PLDT’s go-to scorer two years ago before she signed with Petro Gazz in 2020. Pablo won multiple MVPs and titles for Pocari Sweat and was Motolite’s main spiker, while Molina anchored Petron’s title success in the Philippine Superliga before their teams got disbanded.

    Big Three

    How is it working so far? Soltones said the three of them accepted that being selfless should always prevail over their egos.

    “Kaming tatlo dominante kami — sabi nila — sa kanya kanyang teams namin before. Pero ang iniisip namin kailangan ibaba namin yung ego namin as a player,” said the former NCAA MVP, who finally made her Angels’ debut with 18 points, 15 digs and 12 excellent receptions.

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    Grethcel Soltones Myla Pablo Ces Molina Petro Gazz PVL

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    “Kasi hindi naman magwowork ang isang team kung pataasan lang kayo. So ayun nga sabi ng coach namin kahit galing kayo sa ibang team na kayo inaasahan, kailangan pagdating sa court walang mas lamang, walang mas ibabaw basta pantay pantay lang lahat,” she added.

    Molina, who was converted from outside to opposite hitter, said she and her teammates have accepted their respective roles for them to work as one unit in Petro Gazz’s title quest.

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    “First time din namin magiging teammates sa isang team lahat kami outside hitters kaya naconvert ako din sa opposite pero nakita nyo naman na effective talaga sila (Myla and Grethcel)as diagonal din,” Molina said. “Ako naman sa blockings ako nagfofocus dahil syempre halos lahat ng main man ng mga ibang team ay openers.”

    Besides the Pablo-Molina-Soltones trio, the Angels also formed dreaded frontline with ace middle blockers Ria Meneses and Remy Palma and tremendous floor defense from multi-awarded libero Kath Arado, who had 28 digs and 21 excellent receptions in her PVL debut.

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      Petro Gazz head coach Arnold Laniog, who only kept Chie Saet, Jessey De Leon and Rica Enclona from their 2019 squad, believes the best is yet to come for his new players coming off a short Bulacan training camp for their volleyball comeback after a year-long inactivity.

      “Hindi pa namin nakikita yung talagang pulidong galaw namin as a group but basically because of every other day na game natin, doon natin madedevelop hopefully,” Laniog said. “Magtiyaga lang tayong magaral sa isa’t isa para mapagpatibay pa natin yung chemistry ng team kasi yun naman yung challenge.”

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      The refueled Angels will be tested right away on Tuesday, renewing their rivalry with Open Conference FInals nemesis Creamline.

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      PHOTO: PVL photos
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