Petron outlasts Cocolife to clinch twice-to-beat edge in PSL Grand Prix quarterfinals
Lindsay Stalzer scored three of the last four points to lift Petron in a five-set battle over Cocolife. Photo from PSL

VETERAN import Lindsay Stalzer led Petron to outlast Cocolife, 25-14, 23-25, 15-25, 25-14, 15-13, and secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.

The prolific American hitter, who has been in the PSL for five seasons, was impressive on both offense and defense as she scored 22 points, registered 23 digs and nine excellent receptions for the Blaze Spikers.

Petron, which came from a stunning straight set loss to Sta. Lucia, improved to 9-1 at the No. 2 behind F2 Logistics and will wait for its opponent in the quarterfinals.

“Alam mo naman (si Stalzer) kung paano lumaban ‘yan, fighter talaga. So happy, I’m very happy,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos.

“Of course ‘yung quarters muna (ang paghahandaan namin), syempre hindi tayo pwede maging complacent you know naman what happened last game, ang dami namin natutunan doon,” he added.

Still, the veteran mentor stressed that they must keep their guards up ahead of the quarterfinals despite armed with the twice-to-beat edge.

“Kaya kami every game, kailangan lagi kaming naka prepare kasi lahat ng teams gusto tayong talunin so ‘wag tayong magpabaya and panghawakan natin kung ano ang meron tayo,” said delos Santos.

The Asset Managers looked to deal the Blaze Spikers their second loss as they zoomed to a 12-10 lead after a 4-0 spurt in the fifth set.

Petron tied the contest, 12-12, before Stalzer scored the three of match’s last four points to seal the victory.

“Para sa amin very challenging ang game kasi nakita natin na ang ganda ng performance nila (Cocolife),” said delos Santos, who admitted that Cocolife’s new import Marta Drpa was difficult to predict. 

“Nagkaroon din ng adjustment kasi ‘yung isang import nila syempre hindi namin alam ‘yung idea kung paano siya sa game,” he added.

American import Hillary Hurley made 15 points for Petron, while Mika Reyes added 13 and Ces Molina chipped in 12.

Serbian import Sara Klisura finished with 23 points, 19 digs and 16 excellent receptions for Cocolife, while Drpa, who replaced Taylor Milton, debuted in the league with 20 markers.    

The Asset Managers slid to 6-4 at the No. 3 spot.

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