Exactly a week after their straight-set win over Generika-Ayala at the Bacoor Strike Gym in the first round, the Petron Blaze Spikers duplicated the feat on Tuesday evening at the same venue.
The reigning champions brushed aside a nip-and-tuck first set and throttled past the Lifesavers in three sets, 26-24, 25-12, 25-19, in the 2019 PSL All Filipino Conference.
“Malaking bagay sa akin yan dahil ang Generika halos lahat ng team kaya nilang i-beat, siyempre kami din kaya rin nila kami. Pero siyempre pinaghandaan talaga namin sila mabuti dahil alam naming pag gumana yung team nila, mahihirapan kami,” Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos said.
With the win, Petron remains seated on the solo second spot with a 7-1 win-loss record behind the unscathed F2 Logistics, which boast of a 7-0 card.
Bernadeth Pons led the charge for Petron with 18 points built on 17 attacks and an ace to go along with nine excellent receptions.
Remy Palma contributed 13 points off eight attacks, three aces, and two kill blocks, while Ces Molina chipped 12 points on top of 21 digs. Rhea Dimaculangan tossed 25 excellent sets.
Despite taking the second and third sets in dominant fashion, Petron needed to wriggle past the Lifesavers in a tight opening affair.
Missing the services of Sisi Rondina, who was with the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses in South Korea, the Blaze Spikers found themselves down early in the opener.
Staring at an 11-17 deficit in the first set, the Blaze Spikers relied on Palma’s net defense to pressure the attackers of Generika-Ayala. As Palma scored kill block after kill block at the net, Pons caught the Lifesavers off guard on multiple occasions to further turn the tides to their favor.
The Blaze Spikers raced at set point, 24-22. However, Pons committed an attack error in the ensuing play, setting up a deuce-forging drop ball from Jamie Lavitoria. Pons atoned for her error as she willed her team at another set point before Angeli Araneta had a costly error that sealed the opening salvo.
“Slow start lang talaga siguro yung receive at attack namin nag-struggle kami. Kahit malaki yung lamang, nakakatuwa kasi hinabol talaga ng team hanggang sa naipanalo namin,” Delos Santos said.
Meanwhile, Generika-Ayala fell to a two-way tie in third place with Foton. Both teams hold an identical 5-3 record.
The lone double-digit scorer for the Lifesavers was Araneta who scored 10 points.
Fiola Ceballos supplemented nine points, while Patty Orendain managed five points.
Petron looks to sustain its momentum as it faces Cignal on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Generika-Ayala, on the other hand, will try to bounce back and quell the surging Foton on Saturday also at the FilOil Arena.
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