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Unbeatable: Petron trounces skidding Foton



Brilliance is slowly becoming a routine for the Petron Blaze Spikers as they overwhelmed the slumping Foton Tornadoes in three sets 25-19, 25-20, 25-14, in the second round of eliminations of the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome.

As they’ve done all season, Petron out-muscled their foes with attacks, this time out-spiking Foton 41-39. Petron Libero, Jen Reyes was her usual omnipresent self in the back row, as the Lady Bulldog nabbed 14 excellent digs and seven excellent receptions.

Petron’s parade of superstars got to work destroying their foes confidence right from the first point. Their Daquis-Manabat-Maraño triumvirate combined for eight early points, pulling Petron to a 14-8 advantage. Aby Maraño continued the Petron assault with her unstoppable running attacks, keeping Foton at bay. As the Tornadoes mounted a comeback, trimming the Petron lead down to two, 19-17, Blaze Spikers team captain, Maica Morada, buoyed her team to the finish line as the former Lady Tam contributed three points to a 6-2 Petron run to end the set.

It seemed that Petron’s efficiency momentarily fell off a cliff early in the second frame. Four of Foton’s first 10 points came off Petron errors of all sorts of variety. Petron constantly trailed by three for much of the set with their errors constantly pulling them back. The defending champs finally broke through with a 4-0 scoring rampage highlighted by a Maraño running attack that she followed up with a block on Nicole Tiamzon, which gave Petron a 20-18 lead. Attack errors from Maica Morada and Mina Aganon sent the set into a 20-all deadlock. Petron responded by nailing Foton right at 20 points for the rest of the set thanks to Aby Maraño’s powerful play.

Petron finished the match off decisively as they built a 6-0 lead right at the start of the final set. Dindin Santiago-Manabat delivered six points in the third set, as her thunderous attacks seemed to have sucked the life out of Foton, leading to an easy set win.

When asked about the trust he has in his team, Petron Coach, George Pascua, attributed their success to the team’s rigorous trainings. “Lahat ng situations pinapractice namin. Kaya kahit apat pa lamang ng kalaban, hindi na talaga ako tumatawag ng timeout kasi alam na nila ‘yung gagawin nila,” said Pascua.

Pascua also revealed that he is cautious with how much he works his players that are affiliated with other teams, stating that he manages their training so that they do not get worn down.

Former UAAP Best Attacker, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, led all scorers with her 17 markers, while former La Sallian, Aby Maraño, recordes 11 points. Current UST Tigress, Pam Lastimosa, was the only Tornado who scored double digits with her 10 points. Nicole Tiamzon continued her slump after notching just three points in two sets of action.

The Scores:

Petron (3) – Manabat 17, Maraño 11, Daquis 9, Morada 6, Cayetano 4, Aganon 3, Molina 2, Micek 0, Perez 0, Masagkay 0, Reyes (L)

Foton (0) – Lastimosa 10, Orendain 7, Araneta 5, Remulla 4, Lastimosa 3, Eatampa 2, Mendez 1, Factor 1, Macatuno 0, Acevedo (L), Panteleon (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.

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