Blaze Spikers overcome absence of setter Erica Adachi, defeat Raiders in four sets in Super Liga Grand Prix
Petron Blaze is first to complete its first-round schedule, taking provisional second spot with a 3-2 record. Freddie Dionisio

DEFENDING champion Petron turned back RC Cola-Air Force, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-10, on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan to take second spot in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix eliminations.

Brazilian reinforcement Rupia Inck scored 15 points as the Blaze Spikers bounced back from a five-set loss to Philips Gold. Petron is the first to complete its first-round schedule and hold a 3-2 win-loss record.

Frances Molina scored 13 markers, while Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Rachel Anne Daquis chipped in 12 points apiece for Petron.

“Makikita mo naman sa structure ng katawan ng kalaban kung tatagal o hindi, ang tagal pa ng rally eh ’di naman sila ganoon ka-fit, kasi makikita mo sa built ng katawan, import na nga lang ang lumalaban,” said Petron coach George Pascua.

“Sabi ko sa kanila sa tagal ng rally ’yung muscle endurance nila magbabago kaya ang tempo ng laro mag-iiba,” he added.

Local setter Mary Masangkay stepped up in the absence of Brazilian setter Erica Adachi with 18 of the team’s excellent sets.

Adachi will be out for around three days due to an allergy, which developed after an out-of-town event with Petron last week.

“Noong nag-guest sila ni Molina sa Bataan sa isang event ng Petron nag-umpisa hindi na siya makatulog sa sobrang kati,” said Pascua.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada