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PSL GP 2018 Petron vs. Cocolife – Bell-0257
PSL GP 2018 Petron vs. Cocolife – Bell-0257

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Petron takes Game One from Cocolife behind smashing debut from Katherine Bell


After making a surprise import change last week, the Petron Blaze Spikers showed that their risk was worth it, taking Game One of the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga from the Cocolife Asset Managers, 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Petron surprisingly pitched fan-favorite Hillary Hurley to acquire American Katherine Bell. The Texas native immediately made an impact, torching the Asset Managers for 29 points off 27 attacks and two aces.

Bell was impressive throughout the match, especially after helping Petron build quick and early leads in the first and third sets. With Petron trailing midway through the fourth frame, longtime import Lindsay Stalzer guided her team out of the mess. Stalzer worked in her signature hits between Cocolife errors to give the Blaze Spikers a 24-20 lead.

The Asset Managers tried to rally back, with Marta Drpa firing back-to-back aces to come within one, 24-23. But Petron setter Rhea Dimaculangan ended the match with a gutsy one-two play.

“Malaking adjustment para sa amin na may bago kaming import pero happy kami sa pinakita ni Bell at sa naging response ng team,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Ngayon, nakapa na ng Cocolife ‘yung kayang gawin ng import namin sa mag-aadjust sila. Kailangan prepared pa rin kami sa gagawin nila.”

The 33-year old Stalzer finished with 23 points while middle blocker Mika Reyes managed nine markers.

Marta Drpa led the Asset Managers with 26 points. Playing through shoulder pain, Sara Klisura still came up with 18 markers.

Game Two of the best-of-three will be on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

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Petron (3) – Bell 29, Stalzer 23, Reyes 9, Molina 8, Cortez 4, Dimaculangan 4, Pontillas 2, Legacion 0, Fukuda (L)

Cocolife (1) – Drpa 26, Klisura 18, Tubino 7, Bautista 5, Pabayo 5, Alkuino 2, Salak 2, Gonzales 1, Bunag 0, Patnongon 0, Tan 0, Tejada 0, Lazaro (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.


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