PETRON was given a slight scare late but managed to play steady and come up with a straight sets win over expansion team Philips Gold on Saturday in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at the MOA Arena.
The Blaze Spikers scored two easy sets before being made to play hard in the third to complete a 25-16, 25-18, 25-23 win to start their bid for back-to-back titles on a bright note.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat scored 13 points, Frances Molina added seven and Aby Marano chipped in with six markers for the Grand Prix champion Blaze Spikers, who share the top spot with opening-match winner Foton.
[See Foton off to solid start, defeats Cignal in straight sets in Super Liga All Filipino opener]
New acquisition Rachel Anne Daquis missed the conference opener as the former Far Eastern University star joined other celebrities in a touring volleyball event.
The Blaze Spikers led 17-10 in the third before the Lady Slammers came up with a 12-4 run capped by consecutive points from Desiree Dadang and Rossan Fajardo to tie the match at 22.
But Santiago-Manabat stopped the run with a power hit followed by Fille Cainglet-Cayetano’s through the block spike to position Petron at match point, 24-22.
Fajardo saved the match point but a wrong server from Philips Gold sealed the win for Petron.
“May konting pressure kaya nagka ganoon ang nangyari sa third set,” said Petron assistant coach Edjet Mabbayad. “Pero hindi naman dapat negative dapat positive lang ang pagtanggap namin sa pressure.”
Petron head coach George Pascua and deputy Shaq delos Santos left the arena immediately after the match to fly to Iloilo to join Daquis and other volleyball stars in the celebrity event.
[See PLDT Home Ultera Install Patrol brings volleyball stars closer to fans]
Myla Pablo led Philips with 13 markers.