Ria Meneses proved herself as a force to reckon with in the blocking department after leading the towering defense of the Petro Gazz Angels against the Black Mamba Army Troopers.
Meneses posted nine of the Angels’ 16 blocks against the Army Troopers en route to a 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21 victory in the PVL Open Conference at the PVC Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on Sunday, July 18.
Despite the long delay, more than four hours of waiting due to heavy rains that drizzled on the court’s floor, Meneses remained composed and brought momentum to Petro Gazz.
That said, the former University of Santo Tomas product expressed glee that the gelling of the team is evident in their game against Black Mamba.
“Ako, honestly, kahapon ko pa sinasabi sa mga kasama ko na excited talaga ako sa game ngayon. Kasi parang lahat kami ang tagal namin hinintay ‘to tapos first game kaya kahit ang daming aberya kanina, talagang pinu-push namin matapos na ‘yong game ngayon,” said the 25-year-old Meneses.
“Sa paghahanda, grabe kasi ‘yong training namin sa bubble. Iba talaga. Ibang iba sa normal talaga kaya ayon, sana magbunga rin talaga ng maganda ‘yong lahat ng pinaghirapan namin.”
Aside from the PVL, Meneses also drew inspiration from being part of the national but reiterated that her current focus is with the league.
“Siyempre excited din ako kasi first time sa totoo lang. Ngayon lang ako makakasama sa seniors na part ng national team pero hindi pa ‘yon ‘yung focus ko. Nandito talaga sa PVL pa,” added Meneses, who suited up for the national team in the 2015 Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship.
Petro Gazz coach Arnold Laniog, for his part, said he’s hoping to retain the mentality they instilled in their game whether or not another emergency happens.
Laniog is looking forward to playing more games to check on some rooms for improvements and to know where his wards will adjust to next time.
“Given na may circumstances na nade-delay, so ‘yon nga ‘yong mindset naman namin whatever challenges na humarap, embrace lang namin,” the Petro Gazz tactician added. “Importante at present makagalaw kami nang maayos tulad kanina ang tagal nung paghihintay but ‘yong mga players umaasa pa rin na matuloy kaya kahit papaano ayun nakalaro pa rin nang maayos.” (Carlo Anolin) ###