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Petron turn up the heat on skidding Cignal

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Tiebreaker Times Petron turn up the heat on skidding Cignal News PSL Volleyball  Stephanie Niemer Petron Tri-activ Spikers Jen Reyes Janine Marciano Cignal HD Spikers Ces Molina April Hingpit Aiza Maizo-Pontillas 2016 PSL Season 2016 PSL Grand Prix

Showing solid form, the Petron Tri-Activ Spikers claimed momentary hold of the top seed in the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix after thrashing the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-19, 25-19, 25-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Petron opened a huge lead in the first set, 16-7, through strategic serving that stymied Cignal’s offense. The HD Spikers had their shot at closing the gap after a string of opposition errors got them to within four, 21-17. But the Tri-Activ Spikers leaned on import Stephanie Niemer to close the set.

The HD Spikers kept the second set close, until Niemer caught fire from the service line. The Connecticut native served Petron from an 11-all tie to a 16-11 lead. Cignal again tried rally back, with Janine Marciano taking charge and getting her team to within two, 20-18. From there, the Tri-Activ Spikers took control, widening their advantage and nailing an ace from Niemer to take the 2-0 sets lead.

Petron cruised in the third set to cap another great match, rolling to a 21-11 lead and clinching the win.

“May mga kailangan pang ayusin pero maganda naman na ‘yung nilalaro namin. Maganda sa amin ngayon is makakakuha kami ng pahinga bago ‘yung next game namin against Foton na big game talaga,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos.

Three Tri-Activ Spikers score in double digits, led by Stephanie Niemer’s 15 points. Team captain Ces Molina and Aiza Maizo each provided 11 markers. Petron only surrendered 16 errors and outperformed Cignal in every scoring skill.

Janine Marciano was the lone HD Spikers who scored double-digits with 11 points.

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Petron (8-1), already assured of a semis seat, sets up for the potential battle for first against Foton (7-1) on Thursday next week. Cignal (1-7) takes on Foton on Tuesday.

The Scores

Petron (3) – Niemer 15, Molina 11, Pontillas 11, Warner 8, Aganon 2, Hingpit 2, Nunag 2, Morada 1, Rosario 1, Masangkay 0, Yongco 0, Zapanta 0, Pineda (L), Reyes (L)

Cignal (0) – Marciano 11, Paat 5, Schaudt 5, Vivas 5, Delos Santos 4, Bernal 3, Santos 3, Laborte 1, Mercado 1, Patilano 1, Dionela (L)

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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