Former La Salle stars Paneng Mercado, Chie Saet banner PVL newcomer Petro Gazz

PETRO Gazz will heat up the competition as the newest member of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, which kicks off on May.

The Angels are composed seasoned players, mostly from La Salle and College of St. Benilde, under veteran coach Jerry Yee.

The PVL newcomer will bank on former Lady Spikers Paneng Mercado and Chie Saet, who will serve as the team captain and co-captain, respectively. Former Lady Blazers Djanel Cheng, Ranya Musa and Rica Enclona are also expected to give local firepower support to Petro Gazz imports Kadi Kullerkann of Estonia and Anastasiia Trach of Ukraine.

“Magkakakilala naman ‘yung ilan, so far nagi-ensayo tayo. So far maganda ang ipinapakita natin so smooth naman ang transition nila defense to offense so polishing na lang talaga,” said Yee.

Hoping to give powerhouse teams Creamline, Perlas and defending champion Pocari Sweat a run for their money, Petro Gazz toughens up and holds a regular training every night at The Arena in San Juan.

“We like to be as ready as we can be. Of course siyempre ang other teams nag-eensayo din ‘yan. We hear na gabi-gabi rin nage-ensayo rin sila, nagkakaubusan na rin ng tuneup games ngayon dahil nandyan na rin ang yayaan,” said Yee.

“Some teams ang lineup nila loaded din so ‘yun ang mga challenges natin. Sa atin kung ano ang meron sa ating piyesa we’ll work with that,” he added.

Completing the 12-woman lineup are CSB standout Rachel Anne Austero, former La Salle player Cienne Cruz, Technological Institute of the Philippines spiker Alyssa Layug, former Pocari Sweat veteran Cai Nepomuceno and La Salle alum Wensh Tiu.

Set to join the team is University of the East standout Mary Ann Mendrez of University of the East. She will join the Angels after the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament according to team manager Camille Cruz.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinspin