Petron took advantage of the weakened arsenal of the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, wrapping up the marquee match in straight-set fashion, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18, in the 2019 PSL Invitational Cup, Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Behind the hard-hitting duo of Sisi Rondina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, the Blaze Spikers controlled the tempo in the majority of the match. They also took advantage of the absence of Kalei Mau, who had to sit out due to a skin allergy.
Rondina powered 17 points built on 15 attacks, as Maizo-Pontillas scattered 12 hits, and a pair of kill blocks and service aces in the morale-boosting sweep.
Petron skipper Ces Molina also played an instrumental role in the victory, pouring in nine points and 15 excellent digs. In the opening set, Molina hammered down a blistering kill in the opening set to quell a late surge from the Cargo Movers, who crawled back from a 13-23 hole to a slim 22-24 deficit.
“Sabi ko nga nga sa kanila, alam natin yung quality niyan na kahit lumamang tayo, pipilitin nila mahabol tayo hanggang sa maipanalo nila yan. So kung ano man yung ginagawa namin sa game na tama stick lang kami,” Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos said.
Rem Palma and Chloe Cortez supplied seven and five markers, respectively. Meanwhile, Petron setter Angelica Legacion dished out 13 excellent sets, stepping up in lieu of the injury-stricken Rhea Dimaculangan.
“Sobrang ganda ng nilaro ng team, but of course, in-expect namin na talagang pipitpit yung kalaban namin,” Delos Santos added.
Petron has now tied Generika-Ayala for the early leadership in Pool B with identical 1-0 cards. On the other hand, F2 Logistics started its title-retention bid on a sour note.
Still, the reigning PSL All-Filipino champions put up a fight even without their hard-hitting Fil-Hawaiian spiker.
The troika of Majoy Baron, Kim Dy, and Ara Galang dropped nine markers apiece. Mich Morente, who came off the bench, managed seven points, while team skipper Aby Maraño added five.
Dawn Macandili manned the floor with 19 excellent digs and seven excellent receptions for the Cargo Movers, who had their offense churned out by Kim Fajardo with 15 excellent sets.
Petron looks to sustain their hot start when they face the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers. Meanwhile, F2 Logistics will try to crack into the win column against Marinerang Pilipina. Both matches will be played on Monday, September 30, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.