Petron Blaze Spikers overcame a slow third set groove to finish Cignal HD Spikers in three sets, 25-17, 25-19, and 26-24, in their second round matchup in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference this evening at the FilOil-Flying V Arena, in San Juan City.
Petron Blaze displayed a quick and fiery start in the opening frame, giving Cignal’s defense a hard time in setting up for themselves. Petron led for most of the set from start to finish, and ended it, 25-17.
The second set was a close one between the two teams, preventing each other from gaining huge leads. However, all of that was reversed in the latter part of the set, when Petron, from an 18-16 lead, pulled away to post their biggest lead of the set, 23-17, behind the offensive spark provided by Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Daquis, and Morada. From there, Petron Blaze never looked back, and snatched the second set, 25-19.
Petron Blaze started the third and final set at a slow pace, allowing Cignal to post leads by more than five points. Petron tried to close within striking distance, but saw themselves lagging behind by six, 16-10, before the second technical timeout.
In spite of this, the HD Spikers weren’t tough in holding their lead, nor widening the gap, as Petron was able to trim the lead to just three, 18-15, after a Rachel Anne Daquis block on a Cignal attack. However, the deficit went back to four, 19-15, after Petron was whistled for a rotation error. The call did not sit well for Petron; hence the players questioned the call to the referee, causing a delay for a few minutes. The scenario prompted Head Coach, George Pascua, to call for a timeout.
That timeout seemed to be the turning point for Petron Blaze, as they quickly unfurled three straight points behind Aleona Santiago-Manabat and Maica Morada to close within one, 19-18. But, a service error from Morada made it 20-18 in favor of Cignal.
Cignal provided answers for every Petron attack, and saw themselves closer to winning the third set, 23-19. On the other hand, Petron was hard-pressed to turn things around, as they hit four straight points, capped by two straight hits from Daquis, to make it 23-all. Cignal toughened on defense sending the match to another deadlock at 24. However, a back row attack error from Mervic Mangui helped Petron get close to match point, 25-24. Finally, Aby Maraño did not disappoint, with her block on a Cignal attack that sealed the deal for Petron Blaze, 26-24.
Abigail Maraño paced Petron with 12 points, from 9 attacks and 3 blocks. Santiago-Manabat also had 12, highlighted by 11 attacks. Maria Lourdes Clemente, meanwhile, led the HD Spikers with 12 points.
With the victory, Petron Blaze now holds solo position at the top with an unblemished 7-0 record. They will face Foton tomorrow, April 16, 4:15 PM, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Petron (3) – Maraño 12, Manabat 12, Daquis 7, Morada 7, Cayetano 7, Aganon 4, Molina 2, Micek 2, Masangkay 1, Zapanta 1, Reyes (L)
Cignal (0) – Clemente 12, Tunay 7, Panaga 7, Vivas 6, Navarro 5, Mangui 4, Bravo 1, Nepomuceno 1, Dionela L, Enclona (L)