PETRON is riding the crest of a three-game winning streak but faces well-rested early semifinalist Cignal in the last four of the Philippine Super Liga on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Blaze Spikers and the HD Spikers clash at 7 p.m. for a place in the final.
Cignal won their first encounter in the tournament, the HD Spikers behind former UAAP Most Valuable Player Venus Bernal turning back the Blaze Spikers in straight sets in the conference opener.
The HD Spikers went on to secure an outright semifinal berth and hasn’t played in over a week.
"3-0 kami sa Cignal, kaya pag-aaralan ulit namin sila," said Petron coach Vilet Ponce de Leon. "Babalik kami sa drawing board."
The match also presents interesting subplots, including the highly anticipated round two battle of former University of Santo Tomas queen Tigress Bernal and Petron's Aiza Maizo and Angge Tabaquero, who all played together in the España-based school.
"Kakayanin ko na lang i-block si ate Venus," Maizo said in jest. Maizo, Bernal and Tabaquero helped the Tigresses win the 2007 UAAP championship.
Former UST ace setter Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz and Judy Ann Caballejo are also expected to deliver for the Blaze Spikers together with college rivals from Ateneo Fille Cainglet and Gretchen
Petron, however, will be playing without veteran spiker and former Lady Eagle Charo Soriano, who is currently in Bali for a vacation.
"To my coaches & teammates, so proud of us! So sorry won't b there in the next games bt I'll be rooting & praying for our team," wrote Soriano on her Twitter account @itscharosoriano.
Cignal, on the other hand, can also count on Honey Tubino from University of Perpetual Help and Danika Grendauli of South Western University.