Petro Gazz's MJ Phillips eyes return in PVL semis

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Petro Gazz's MJ Phillips eyes return in PVL semis
MJ Phillips of Petro Gazz.
PVL Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – MJ Phillips is looking to return to action with the Petro Gazz Angels in the PVL All-Filipino Conference as she came back to Manila after a stint in the Korean V. League with the Gwangju AI Peppers.

Having been listed in the Angels’ roster from the start of the conference, the middle blocker can be inserted into Koji Tsuzurabara’s rotation at any point in the tournament — even during the round-robin semifinals should the Angels maintain their place in the standings at No. 2.

Phillips was already with the Petro Gazz bench on Tuesday, witnessing the Angels’ quick three-set win over the Cignal HD Spikers to bolster their semis chances. 

Asked about her chances of coming back to play, she said that she’s looking to do so sooner rather than later.

“I mean I just landed today at 5 a.m., so definitely [I won’t be playing] today [yesterday]. But we have to talk with management and see where we’re at, whether I can play the next game or probably in the semis, if we can make it to the semis, hopefully,” Phillips said.

Before her stint in Korea, Phillips was a mainstay in the Angels’ rotation, along with skipper Remy Palma.

But seeing how the team has progressed, the 28-year-old said she will have no qualms whatever management, and coach Tsuzurabara will decide.

“[I’m ready] if they need me,” she said. 

“I mean, as long as this team wins, and I trust that they can do it with or without me, it doesn’t matter. They’re a strong enough team, so I have faith in them.”

Palma, meanwhile, talked about Phillips’ return and the impact it has on the team. Though already competing at the best of their ability without her, Palma said that her addition will only supplement what the Angels can already do.

“Syempre, unang una, masaya kami na nakabalik na si MJ na safe and buo. Yung presence niya, syempre, malaking bagay yun, knowing MJ,” said the skipper. 

“Pero yun nga, lagi naman namin pinaguusapan na kami pa rin naman yung nageensayo, ‘di naman dahil bumalik si MJ, kay MJ na kami magre-rely. It means, mas madadagdagan yung meron kami nang bumalik si MJ.”

It remains to be seen if or when Phillips returns to action for Petro Gazz. Regardless, the Angels will fly back into the fray on Saturday, April 20, at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.

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