Pablo, Soltones embrace new roles

Power spikers Myla Pablo and Grethcel Soltones know too well the roles they must play to help Petro Gazz reach its goal in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.

Both understand that focus on offense will now fall on the shoulders of American Lindsey Vander Weide in the import-laden conference set to begin on 8 October.

With that, they need to provide the much-needed support.

“We must do our part to help our import. For my part, the coaches are expecting me to contribute especially on offense,” Pablo said.

Pablo, who powered her former club Pocari Sweat in winning the Reinforced Conference crown in 2017 when PVL was still in the amateur ranks, averaged 11.3 points per game in the Angels’ unsuccessful campaign in the Invitational Conference.

More is expected of her this time as Petro Gazz will march into the nine-team field as one of the favorites after conquering the 2019 Reinforced Conference at the expense of fancied Creamline.

“I have to step up because expectations on me coming from the coaches, team and the management are high,” added the former PVL Most Valuable Player, who was acquired by the Angels last year after her former team Motolite disbanded.

“This will be my first time to play with Petro Gazz in the Reinforced Conference so there will be pressure especially as we’re coming in as the defending champions,” Pablo added.

“We have to duplicate the achievement of the previous team so that’s a lot of pressure.”

Meanwhile, Soltones does not mind taking a backseat from her usual job of providing the extra punch on offense.

The veteran spiker said she is tasked to come off the bench as a role player.

“For this conference, my specific role is service specialist and leading our floor defense. It’s fine with me. I guess that’s better for the team and that’s what we’re working at,” Soltones said.

“Petro Gazz is a balanced team, scoring-wise, anyone can put up points. But all of us understand the role we have to play for the team,” she added.

Aside from Pablo and Soltones, the Angels are parading a veteran-filled roster led by Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Filipino-American MJ Phillips, Remy Palma, Seth Rodriguez and Nicole Tiamzon.

Petro Gazz had a runner-up finish in the season-opening Open Conference and ended fifth in the Invitational tilt.

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