Gunning for redemption this year, the Petron Blaze Spikers rattled off their third straight win in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go/Philippine Superliga and overwhelmed the SMART Prepaid Giga Hitters, 25-12, 25-14, 25-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Spurned from a rare double-crown in 2017, Petron are determined to secure the Grand Prix, the only major championship they missed last year.
Against Smart, the Blaze Spikers showed their all-around dominance, with hard-hitting American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hilary Hurley providing 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Giga Hitters only had Cuban open hitter Gyselle Silva in double-digits with 23 markers.
The Blaze Spikers kept a tidy error tally, allowing just 10, while Smart had 23. Head coach Shaq Delos Santos emphasized this was a major talking point throughout their training.
“Siyempre, dinedevelop pa rin namin, not only the skills, but siyempre ‘yung communication namin and then ang character ng team kapag naka-encounter kami ng struggles sa loob ng court,” Delos Santos said.
“Magandang morale booster ito and isa na rin sa magiging key namin. So, hopefully, ma-maintain and for sure ile-level up pa namin ang laro namin,” he pointed out.
The Blaze Spikers (3-0) face the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers (1-0) in a rematch of their epic, three-game encounter in the 2017 Grand Prix Finals on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Smart (0-2), on the other hand, take on the Foton Tornadoes (1-1) on Tuesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Petron (3) – Stalzer 15, Hurley 14, Reyes 6, Molina 4, Pontillas 4, Dimaculangan 3, Cortez 2, Tunay 2, Malaluan 1, Gaiser (L), Fukuda (L)
SMART Prepaid (0) – Silva 23, Acuna 3, Sindayen 3, Serfica 2, Delos Reyes 1, Urriza 1, Bangcola 0, Madulid 0, Sabas 0, Agno (L)