PETRON handily beat Sta. Lucia, 25-7, 26-24, 25-16, to secure a place in the semifinals of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference on Saturday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
National team members Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Mika Reyes finished with 11, seven and six points, respectively, for the Blaze Spikers, while Sisi Rondina added six.
The former two-time champion will next face the winner of the match between top seed Foton and Cherrylume, which are still playing in their quarterfinal match as of posting time.
The knockout semifinals will be held on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Blaze Spikers faced a fight in the second set when the Lady Realtors moved to set point, 24-20, behind Fil-Amerian spiker Mar-Jana Philips.
Molina, though, stopped Sta. Lucia's momentum with clutch points, followed by Rhea Dimaculangan’s pair of aces and Maizo-Pontillas’ attack that put Petron on top, 25-24.
Phillips’ attacking error handed Petron a two-set lead.
“Good thing we recovered in the second set even if they were the first to reach set point,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos.”
“We collapsed in the second set because of our reception. We were challenged and we pushed ourselves to claim the set. Good thing everybody stepped up. We did what we have to do, especially our service-receive.”
Phillips had 11 points to serve as the lone bright spot for Sta. Lucia, which will face the loser of the game between Foton and Cherrylume in the classification battle for 5thto 8th places on Tuesday in Imus City.