There was no slowing down the Petron Blaze Spikers en route to their 11th straight win and the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference semifinals, as the defending champs diced the bottom-seeded Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, 25-12, 25-14, 25-16, at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Petron quickly built leads in each set and showed their dominance over Sta. Lucia, whom they swept for the third time this conference.
The Blaze Spikers imposed substantial gaps in each scoring skill, including an 11-0 gap in aces and a 42-20 spikes tally.
Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos lauded his team’s execution, but acknowledged the tougher road ahead.
“Very focused and maganda ‘yung paggawa namin sa game plan kanina. Sabi ko sa kanila na kailangan hindi tayo titigil, and ‘wag lang natin bigyan ng kumpiyansa ‘yung kalaban,” said Delos Santos.
“From here on pahirap lang nang pahirap ang labo so, hopefully, tuloy lang din ‘yung ganito naming kundisyon,” the national team head coach added.
Captain Ces Molina led a balanced Petron offense with 15 points, while Remy Palma and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas provided 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Souzan Raslan managed 10 points while Jho Maraguinot added seven for the Lady Realtors who bowed out of the conference without a win in 11 matches.
Petron will hold a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis over the winner of the Cignal HD-Foton tiff.
Petron (3) – Molina 15, Palma 13, Pontillas 11, Reyes 8, Dimaculangan 5, Pons 5, Rondina 3, Cortez 2, Tunay 1, Alcayde 0, Legacion 0, Pabayo 0, Duremdes (L), Gaiser (L)
Sta. Lucia (0) – Raslan 10, Maraguinot 7, Baliton 3, Lastimosa 2, Villareal 2, Estoquia 0, Rivera Re. 0, Rivera Ri. (L)