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Petron ends first round with rousing win over RC Cola



Behind a balanced offensive effort, the Petron Blaze Spikers outgunned the RC-Cola Air Force Raiders 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-10 to notch their third win in five games in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the San Juan Arena.

The Raiders kept affairs close early in all the sets but could not sustain their runs. Petron’s local setter, Grace Masangkay set the plays impeccably for their usual starting setter, import Erica Adachi who sat the match out due to allergies sustained from an out-of-town event.

Masangkay’s playmaking had four Blaze Spikers score in double-digits with Brazilian Rupia Inck Furtado, notching 15 markers off 13 attacks, a block, and an ace. San Beda standout, Frances Molina followed with 13 points while former PSL MVPs Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Rachel Anne Daquis each contributed 12 points.

RC leaned on their powerful imports, Puerto Rico National team player Lynda Morales and American Sara McClinton. The pair sparked the rallies that kept Air Force in the game but they had little support from their Pinoy teammates to clinch sets down the stretch. McClinton, who delivered nearly unstoppable spikes from the open area, fired-off 21 points off 15 attacks, five aces, and a block. Morales garnered 18 points off 14 attacks, three aces, and a block.

After the match, Petron head coach George Pascua confessed that he saw he had an advantage with his deeper lineup even before the match started. “Kapag tumatagal talaga ‘yung mga rally, lamang kami kasi napapagod sila e. Nakita ko na mas kondisyon ‘yung mga player namin kesa sa kanila. Kita naman sa dulo na ‘yung mga imports na lang nila ‘yung lumalaban,” Pascua remarked.

Petron ended their first round at second place with a 3-2 record. This win followed a heart-breaking five-set loss to the Philips’ Gold Lady Slammers. Their other loss, to the Cignal HD Spikers, also came in five sets.

RC-Cola settles for a 1-1 record, tied for third with the Foton Tornadoes and the Philips’ Gold Lady Slammers, who they will face next on Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Scores

Petron (3) – Inck 15, Molina 13, Manabat 12, Daquis 12, Maraño 8, Masangkay 5, Aganon 1, Cayetano 1, Cabalsa 1, Morada 0, Zapanta 0, Reyes (L)

RC (1) – McClinton 21, Morales 18, Ortiz 9, Caballejo 4, Yongco 4, Dimaculangan 1, Cases 1, Abanto (L), Balmaceda (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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