Brushing off another early speed bump, the Petron Blaze Spikers completed the semifinals series sweep of the Cignal HD Spikers in Game Two, 23-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21, to enter their sixth straight Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
American import Stephanie Niemer blasted a season-high 35 points, coming off 26 attacks, five aces, and four blocks. Most of her offense came in the latter three sets, all one-sided affairs.
Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos paid tribute to the feisty HD Spikers, who handed them two of their three-set losses.
“Isa sa masasabi ko – grabe ‘yung eagerness ng Cignal para talunin kami. Grabe ‘yung willingness nila na kitang-kita sa galaw nila,” said Delos Santos.
“Sa amin, mabagal talaga start namin. Good thing, nakakuha kami ng momentum and tiwala lang talaga sa isa’t isa at sa game plan,” the national team head coach added.
Petron’s other import Kath Bell added 18 points, while Mika Reyes managed seven.
Erica Wilson topped Cignal HD with 24 points, while Ana Artemeva added 18.
The Blaze Spikers entered their 13th Finals. They will gun for their sixth title when Game One kicks off on Tuesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre. They face the winner of the F2 Logistics-PLDT series.
The HD Spikers compete for bronze, also on Tuesday against the loser of the F2 Logistics-PLDT tiff.
Petron (3) – Niemer 35, Bell 18, Reyes 7, Pontillas 5, Molina 4, Palma 3, Cortez 2, Dimaculangan 2, Legacion 0, Pons 0, Gaiser (L), Lazaro (L)
Cignal HD (1) – Wilson 24, Artemeva 18, Daquis 12, Vivas 6, Paat 3, Navarro 2, Masangkay 1, Aguilar 0, Cardiente 0, Dionela (L)