Riding late rallies in each set, the Petron Blaze Spikers escaped the Smart Giga Hitters, 25-23, 25-14, 25-18, for their third victory in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Blaze Spikers early in the opening frame, giving up aces and free balls that Smart turned into a 7-2 lead. Following Sisi Rondina’s injection into the match, the Blaze Spikers slowly whittled away at Smart’s lead. Trailing 21-23, Petron pulled clutch serves from Rondina that coaxed costly errors from Smart. The Blaze Spikers took the set via a 4-0 run, capped by a surprising 1-2 hit from Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.
Petron quickly gained separation in the second frame, stifling the Giga Hitters’ offense. Figuring in a tight third frame, Petron pushed ahead thanks to Ces Molina’s and Pontillas’ late aces. From a 15-all tie, Petron took ten of the next 13 points to seal the win.
Head coach Shaq Delos Santos lauded Petron’s play during the crucial moments of the match.
“Slow start ulit, pero happy kami sa team kasi nailalabas nila ‘yung laro namin talaga pagdating sa dulo. Importante talaga ‘yung endgame, lalo na kaninang slow start kami,” he gushed.
Molina led the Blaze Spikers with 16 points off 11 attacks, three aces, and two blocks, while Pontillas added 12 markers.
Captain Aiko Urdas topped the Giga Hitters with 15 markers. Far Eastern University standout Jerrili Malabanan tallied 12 markers.
Petron (3-0) next take on rivals and fellow undefeated squad F2 Logistics Cargo Movers (3-0) on Saturday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan. Smart (1-1) aim to bounce back against the Foton Blue Energy (3-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Petron (3) – Molina 16, Pontillas 12, Reyes 11, Rondina 9, Dimaculangan 4, Cortez 3, Tunay 1, Alcayde 0, Legacion 0, Pabayo 0, Pons 0, Duremdes (L), Gaiser (L)
Smart (0) – Urdas 15, Malabanan 12, Soltones 10, Carandang 2, Sta. Rita 2, Villegas 2, Latigay 1, Nabor 1, Cayuna 0, Macabalitao 0, Pantone (L)
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