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Sweet Sweep: Petron breezes through Shopinas to remain undefeated



In complete contrast to their first round meeting, the Petron Blaze Spikers encountered no problems in dismantling the Lady Clickers in straight sets 25-19, 25-12, 25-23, completing their sweep of the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Cup elimination round at the Cuneta Astrodome.

All of Petron’s stars were on-point the entire match, most especially Dindin Santiago-Manabat who dropped a game-high 18 markers and was the only player who broke into double digits. La Salle product, Aby Maraño paced Petron with nine points while San Beda’s Frances Molina contributed eight markers.

Shopinas seemed to have control of the first set when they battled to forge a slim 9-8 lead. From there, Petron unleashed Manabat on Shopinas defense, sparking a seven point Petron scoring spree that Shopinas did not have an answer for. Petron’s lead ballooned to as much as eight, 19-11 at which point Shopinas slotted in their substitutes to no avail as Petron’s attackers had it too easy.

The second saw the Lady Clickers’ worst set loss of the season as they were down by as much as 14. They didn’t give any errors away, but their attacking was abysmal as Petron’s defense easily inhaled every free ball and weak drop Shopinas presented, allowing Petron’s bench brigade to finish off the set quite handily.

Shopinas showed some semblance of their A-game in the final set of the match as Paneng Mercado and Cha Cruz finally started scoring points. Mercado and Cruz combined for 10 points in the set but Manabat’s running was just too much to control for the Lady Clickers. Shopjmas mounted a late set rally that put them within a point of a deuce, but Djanel Cheng’s setting error set them back and ended the match.

After the game, Petron Coach George Pascua revealed that he was confident his star-studded crew could sweep the eliminations round. “Sa galing ng mga players ko, di naman talaga malayo ‘yung sweep. Kung kaya sana, hanggang Finals na masweep,” Pascua said.

Paneng and Cha finished the match with seven points apiece while their fellow La Sallian, Wensh Tiu managed five for Shopinas.

The Lady Clickers now needs to win their Thursday match up with the Foton Tornadoes to seal the second seed and a bye from the first round of the playoffs.

The Scores:

Petron (3) – Manabat 18, Maraño 9, Molina 8, Daquis 6, Cayetano 4, Morada 3, Masangkay 3, Aganon 2, Zapanta 0, Micek 0, Perez 0, Reyes (L) (0) – Mercado 7, Cruz 7, Tiu 5, Tan 4, Dy 4, Laborte 3, Eguia 2, Guevara 1, Angustia 1, Mandapat 0, Hingpit 0, General (L), Sison (L)


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.