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Dindin-fueled Blaze Spikers cruise past Lady Slammers for opening day win

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Behind Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s unstoppable offense, the Petron Blaze Spikers grounded the revamped Philips Gold Lady Slammers in straight sets 25-16, 25-18, 25-23 at the MoA Arena.

Manabat delivered the goods with 13 points off, in just 30 attack attempts. The 6’3 former Lady Bulldog powered her way through the opposing defense with ease, especially when things got tight in the third set, and Petron had to rally past a strong comeback effort from the Lady Slammers.

The first two sets were totally dominated by Petron, steadily building an early lead, and never looked back. They even managed to field a few bench players in the latter part of the second set when they held an eight-point lead, including fifth overall pick, Alexa Micek. Micek managed a point and showed off the instinctive floor defense she developed in her time as a Libero in the US.

The third set was a closer affair. With Petron leading, 17-11, Philips Gold suddenly unfurled a run that, brought them all the way back into a 20-20 tie. First overall pick, Iris Tolenada, struggled to set the table for her teammates in the first two sets. She eventually found her rhythm late in the third set with her setting, that was pivotal in her team’s comeback effort. However, the Lady Slammers’ unfamiliarity with each other, costed them the set as they surrendered multiple costly errors including the game-winning, wrong server error.

After the game, Philips Gold Coach, Francis Vicente revealed that he was unsatisfied with his team’s performance, but already knew why they faltered. “The past week hindi maayos ‘yung mga practice namin. ‘Di kami nakukumpleto kaya it showed today. Magaayos na lang kami next game,” said the UE Coach.

Lady Bulldog, Myla Pablo, led all Lady Slammers in scoring with 13 points matching her former teammate’s output. Team Captain, Michelle Gumabao and Pablo’s former NU teammate Desiree Dadang, added eight.

Petron will face the Foton Tornadoes on Thursday at Alonte Sports Arena, in Biñan, Laguna.

The Scores:

Petron – Manabat 13, Molina 7, Maraño 6, Morada 5, Cayetano 3, Micek 1, Perez 1, Masangkay 0, Cabalsa 0, Zapanta 0, Aganon 0, Reyes (L)

Philips Gold – Pablo 13, Gumabao 8, Dadang 8, Fajardo 4, Malaluan 1, Mea 1, Gohing (L)

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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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