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Maizo-Pontillas leads Petron over Foton to open title defense

National Team veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas rattled off a game-high 16 points to tow her Petron Tri-Activ Spikers past the Foton Tornadoes in just three sets 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 in the opening day of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Maizo-Pontillas was deadly efficient, converting 15 of her 27 spike attempts. Collegiate direct hires Remy Palma and Bernadeth Pons added nine and eight markers, respectively in the unexpected opening day romp.

“Si Aiza nakakapag-adjust na talaga yan sa role niya sa team. Nakita niyo naman maganda na ang ginagalaw lalo na sa palo niya,” Petron head coach George Pascua shared about his team captain.

Just a few months ago, Foton upended Petron in the PSL Grand Prix Finals. Adding youth through direct hires and the draft, Foton was expected to take Petron to the brink. But the Tornadoes struggled to pass and defend Petron’s attacks. Without proper ball control, Foton’s offense became predictable, making for a quick match.

“Talagang nag-focus kami sa serving naman para hindi nila maset-up sila Jaja (Santiago. Mabuti naman at naexecute namin,” thought Pascua.

Santiago was limited to just 10 points, the only Tornado in double-digits. UST tandem Cherry Rondina and Ej Laure stumbled to a combined 13 markers.

“Siguro nag-asdjust pa rin sila (Foton). Kami din naman, may mga kulang pa sa amin. Siguro nasa 85 percent pa lang kami nang kailangan namin level para mag-champion. Ngayon, focus lang naman kami every game, kung sino ang next na kalaban,” said Pascua.

Petron (1-0) next faces the Generika Lifesavers (0-0) on Saturday 2:00 p.m. Foton (0-1) also has Generik on Thursday 4:00 p.m. Both matches will be played at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

#ReadMore  Santiago gets nibble of world-class competition, wants more

Petron (3) – Pontillas 16, Palma 9, Pons 8, Aganon 6, Molina 4, Morada 4, Nunag 3, Masangkay 2, Negrito 1, Rosario 0, Yongco 0, Reyes (L), Pineda (L)

Foton (0) – Santiago 10, Rondina 7, Laure 6, Ortiz 5, Orendain 4, Cerveza 3, Araneta 2, Perez 2, Dimaculangan 0, Macatuno 0, General (L), Acevedo (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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