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Niemer musters marvelous game to push Petron to Finals

When in doubt, the Petron Tri-Activ Spikers go to import Stephanie Niemer.

And go to Niemer they did, in an epic five-set win over the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, 25-23, 23-25, 17-25, 25-22, 15-10, in the PSL Grand Prix semifinals at the Ibalong Sports Complex in Legazpi, Albay.

F2 Logistics had limited Niemer in the initial three sets, and had taken a 2-1 set lead. But, with their season on the line, the Cincinnati native powered her way past F2’s improved coverage and reception to extend the match to a decider.

Niemer then put the final nails in F2’s season, bringing Petron from a 5-all deadlock to a 12-6 lead in the fifth set off her signature jump serve.

The Petron import — who had also featured for the F2 Logistics team that participated in the Women’s Club World Championship — tallied 37 points off 30 attacks, six aces, and a block.

“We buckled down and just pushed past adversity. Our season was on the line and I’m proud that we just didn’t give up when F2 gave us a challenge. F2 was a great team and I’m happy we could push past them,” said Niemer.

Petron have now set up a rematch of last season’s Grand Prix Finals against the Foton Tornadoes. Foton had taken the title in a heated three-game series.

“We haven’t beaten them this conference so we’re underdogs. We just need to prepare and focus on Foton and I believe we have what it takes to win the title,” Niemer added.

The best-of-three series begins on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

American Hayley Spelman led the Cargo Movers with 29 points, while Aby Maraño added 18.

#ReadMore  No excuses for Ginebra even if fatigue has kicked in, says Scottie Thompson

F2 Logistics will battle RC Cola-Army in the bronze medal match.

The Scores

Petron (3) – Niemer 37, Pontillas 15, Molina 12, Warner 12, Hingpit 4, Rosario 4, Aganon 2, Nunag 1, Masangkay 0, Zapanta 0, Reyes (L)

F2 Logistics (2) – Spelman 29, Maraño 18, Galang 12, Cruz Ch. 7, Reyes 6, Baron 3, Dy 1, Cheng 0, Kemper 0, Macandili (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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