The Petron Blaze Spikers booked the last semifinals berth in Pool C of the 2019 PSL Invitational Cup, belting the cellar-dwelling Marinerang Pilipina Lady Skippers with a straight-set whipping, 25-22, 25-22, 25-8, Thursday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
After back-and-forth first and second sets, the Blaze Spikers kicked their offense into a higher gear in the decisive third frame. They doubled down on the Lady Skippers at the second technical timeout, 16-8, before going on a searing 9-0 closing stampede that clinched their place in the next round.
“‘Yung mga unang sets namin, nagkaroon kami ng errors like attack errors, so kami ‘yung biglang nagbibigay ng puntos,” admitted Petron skipper Ces Molina. “I think noong mga sumunod na sets, dinagdagan namin ‘yung atake namin, pinabilis namin, at hindi kami nagkaroon ng maraming lapses ng mga huling sets.”
Molina spearheaded Petron’s balanced offensive thrust. She punished the opposition with 10 attacks en route to a game-high 12 points, powering the Blaze Spikers to a 4-0 card in Pool C.
Sisi Rondina also fueled the firepower of Petron. The 5-foot-6 dynamo collected four of her team’s 11 kill blocks to finish with 11 markers, while flaunting her defensive wares with 19 excellent digs.
Bernadeth Pons and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas supplied nine points each. Meanwhile, Chloe Cortez dealt damage from all over the place. She produced eight markers, nailing three kill blocks and raining down three service aces.
Petron playmaker Angelica Legacion churned out the offense for the Blaze Spikers, distributing 12 excellent sets.
The Lady Skippers paled in comparison to that bevy of scorers, since they only had Cesca Racraquin as their double-digit scorer.
The San Beda University standout generated 11 points built on seven attacks and four service aces in a losing cause, as Marinerang Pilipina remained winless in five matches.
Caitlyn Viray managed eight markers, while Floremel Rodriguez had six to go along with 12 excellent digs. Usual point-getters Ivy Remulla, Nica Gulliman, and Judith Abil finished with five, four, and two points, respectively.
The Blaze Spikers will look to quell the unbeaten Cignal HD Spikers in their tracks on October 12, Saturday, at the Caloocan Sports Complex. Marinerang Pilipina, meanwhile, will try to avert a winless campaign when they face the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters on the same day.