The entire Petron Tri-Activ Spikers were revved up as they sparked their campaign with a rousing 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 win over Generika in the opening day of 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Tri-Activ Spikers were well-oiled offensively, dismantling the Life Savers in just 71 minutes to win their first game of the interclub tourney.
American import Stephanie Niemer topped all scorers in her debut, finishing with 18 points on 15 spikes and three service aces including six digs to lead the way for Petron. Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and new skipper Frances Molina chipped in 10 hits each, while the other reinforcement from the United States, Serena Warner added nine points.
“We’re happy that everybody performed well today. Hopefully, we could maintain this kind of performance and keep on improving because it’s a long way to go for this conference,” said debuting Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos, who replaced former mentor George Pascua before the start of the conference.
“We have to step up and be more consistent with our skills and as a team because all teams are really strong with their imports.”
The Tri-Activ Spikers, who were the runner-up of last year’s Grand Prix, convincingly drew first blood and carried the momentum into the second set, building a 7-0 margin and extended it to a commanding 18-12 lead. However, Generika put up a gallant stand, netting eight of the next 10 points to trim the deficit to just two, 22-20, and tied the match 23-all. Petron stopped the bleeding with a combination play for Maizo-Pontillas to take the two-set advantage.
Petron caught fire in the third set, building a 18-12 lead and never looking back to win the match nailing seven of the last nine points.l
Despite the convincing performance, Delos Santos seeks to improve the team chemistry, especially with their imports.
“Today they (imports) played all out but as of now, the imports are still familiarizing with the locals. I know that they could unleash more,” he said.
Darlene Ramdin, a Trinidad and Tobago national team member, was the lone double-digit scorer for Generika finishing with 15 points on 13 attacks and a pair of aces in a losing effort. Ukrainian Polina Liutikova had nine hits as many as the production of local Ria Meneses.
Petron (3) – Niemer 18, Molina 10, Pontillas 10, Warner 9, Rosario 8, Masangkay 2, Aganon 1, Hingpit 0, Zapanta 0, Reyes (L)
Generika (0) – Ramdin 15, Liutikova 9, Meneses 9, Adorador 5, Tiu 3, De Leon 2, Cortez 1, Pagdangan 1, Legacion 0, Arado (L)
Photos by Roman Prospero