Unbeaten teams Petron, Cignal dispute solo lead in Super Liga Grand Prix 
Dindin Santiago and the Blaze Spikers eye their third straight victory, but face a tough match against Cignal HD. Dante Peralta 

UNDEFEATED teams Petron and Cignal dispute for the solo lead on Wednesday in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Blaze Spikers and the HD Lady Spikers, winner of their first two matches, will battle at 4 p.m.

Behind its twin towers of 6-foot-3 Alaina Bergsma and 6-foot-2 Dindin Santiago, Petron demolished Generika in the conference opener and newcomer Mane 'N Tail in a match in Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur.

Bergsma, a former NCAA star from Oregon, scored 23 points in her debut in the league and despite battling flu came up with 25 markers at the oven hot Santo Domingo Coliseum. 

Former National University star Dindin Santiago had 22 points in the four-set win over Generika and 11 in the match against Mane ‘N Tail, another four-setter.

Petron coach George Pascua was pleased to see the Blaze Spikers play tough, but believes they can do even better.

“So far andoon na ang mental toughness ng team," he said. "Pero hopefully pag nakaharap namin ang Cignal ok na ang jelling ng team."

“Si Bergsma against Mane 'N Tail nasa 70 percent pa lang siya noon sana sa next game ok na siya," he added.

Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar, meanwhile, is confident HD Spikers imports Lindsay Stalzer and Sarah Ammerman match up well against the Petron reinforcements.

The six-footer Stalzer scored 15 points as Cignal stopped RC Cola Air Force in three sets and had 25 in a four-setter against Mane ‘N Tail. Six-foot-two Ammerman had 19 and 22 points in their first two matches.

“I admire my imports, marunong silang makinig, marunong silang tumanggap ng sinasabi ko," said Acaylar.

“Malakas silang team (Petron) kaya magfo-focus kami sa blocking,” he added.

Foton meets Mane ‘N Tail at 2 p.m. in a match of winless squads.

Mane ‘N Tail shares the bottom with Generika at 0-2, while the Foton is at 0-1.

Kristy Jaeckel has been delivering big for Mane ‘N Tail, scoring 31 points in her Super Liga debut before registering 37 points to match Santiago's league record, but hasn’t gotten enough support from the locals.

In men's play, two-time champion PLDT Air Force begins its campaign as it battles Cavite at 6 p.m.

The Power Attackers, who have national team members Ranran Abdilla, JP Torres, Jeffrey Malaban and Jessie Lopez, got stronger with the return of last year's MVP and national team member Kheeno Franco.

Franco, James Pecana, Gilbert Longavela and Dominico Lucindo helped PLDT claim the first PSL men’s title.


"With the new addition ng players sa tingin ko mas lalo kaming naging competitive, 'yung first six ko almost lahat national team," said PLDT Air Force coach Jasper Jimenez.

"Pero alam ko naman na ang mga ibang teams nagpalakas din 'yan, so tignan na lang natin," he added.

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