Alaina Bergsma stars as Petron Blaze bounces back and pushes Foton out of semifinal picture
Alaina Bergsma scores 23 points, all from spikes, for the Petron Blaze Spikers. Freddie Dionisio

PETRON vented its ire on struggling Foton, 25-21, 25-18, 23-25, 25-15, on Thursday to get back on the winning track in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at the Cuneta Astrodome.

American import Alaina Bergsma unloaded 23 points, all from spikes, Dindin Santiago had 15 and Brazilian setter Erica Adachi added 13 as the Blaze Spikers bounced back from a four-set loss to RC Cola Air Force.

Petron, which had earlier secured a semifinal berth along with Generika and RC Cola, improved its win-loss record to 7-1.

[See Emily Brown shows the way as RC Cola hands Petron first loss in Super Liga GP]

“Kailangan talaga namin manalo para makabalik ang confidence ng team,” said Petron coach George Pascua. 

“Ito ’yung turning point namin, kasi kung matatalo kami bababa ang morale ng team,” he added.

Petron was up, 14-11, in the third set when Bergsma was issued a yellow card for contesting a check ball.

Foton gained momentum after Bergsma's argument with the referee as the Tornadoes came up with a 13-8 rally and extended the match.

"'Yung dalawang imports ko kasi medyo emotional, eh sabi ko naman ang judgement call ng referee hindi na natin mababago ’yun," said Pascua.

"Sinabihan niya (Bergsma) ako kanina na call a time out daw, kaya nasigawan ko siya kanina sabi ko, ‘No, I'm the coach just play,’” he added.

"Emotional kasi masyado ang imports ko, ayaw nila na sa simpleng bola lang namamatay ang puntos," continued Pascua.

Irina Tarasova finished with 24 points for Foton and Elena Tarasova added 14 for the Tornadoes, who suffered their seventh loss in nine matches and bowed out of the semifinal race.

Foton plays its last match on Wednesday against Cignal.

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