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Petron bucks feisty Philips Gold in four sets

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With their core players figuring in their third game in three days, Petron still managed to keep its spotless record with a four-set triumph over the Philips Gold Lady Slammers, 25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 25-17 in their first game of the second round eliminations in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The five players who played in their third game scored 50 of Petron’s 97 points led by Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s game-high 23 points. Former UAAP stars, Aby Maraño and Rachelle Anne Daquis pitched in 10 and 12 markers respectively.

NU’s Myla Pablo, delivered 17 points for Philips Gold who are currently tied at fifth place with the Mane ‘n Tail Lady Stallions.

The first set was a back-and-forth struggle between the teams with Santiago-Manabat spelling the difference for Petron. Philips Gold responded in the second set with a forgettable performance filled with errors.

Thr Lady Slammers recovered in the third set, going on a 6-1 run highlighted by back-to-back Michelle Gumabao aces that gave Philips its largest lead of the match, 14-6. Petron retaliated by seeking their leading scorer, Dindin, to slowly gnaw at Philips’ large lead. Petron got as close as 21-20 when Manabat drove home a patented running attack but Philips received a boost from Pablo and off-the-bench scorer, Shaya Adorador who dropped an ace that allowed Philips to pull away and notch their lone set win.

Fatigue seemed to have set in when Petron allowed Philips an early 8-5 lead in the fourth set. From then on, Petron shifted their gears and tied the set immediately at nine; slowly working their way into a 19-15 lead off continued pounding from Manabat and Daquis. Petron closed the match on a 6-2 run as Philips surrendered untimely errors down the stretch.

Petron sits steadily at the top of the standings with a 6-0 record and looks to defend their spot when they face the Cignal HD Spikers on Wednesday, April 15 while Philips Gold aims to recover on their next match against Shopinas.com on Wednesday as well.

The Scores:

Petron (3): Manabat 23, Daquis 12, Maraño 10, Morada 5, Aganon 5, Cayetano 4, Molina 3, Masangkay 2, Reyes (L)

Philips Gold (1): Pablo 17, Gumabao 15, Fajardo 9, Dadang 6, Mea 5, Tolenada 3, Adorador 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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