Petron outplays Generika for historic PSL Grand Prix title
The Petron Blaze Boosters celebrate after winning the PSL Grand Prix title. Dante Peralta

PETRON carved its name in Philippine Super Liga history after becoming only the second team to win the championship following its 25-21, 21-25, 25-15, 25-9 whipping of Generika in Sunday’s winner-take-all match at the Astrodome.

The Blaze Spikers needed just hour and 15 minutes to take the match and took over the throne vacated by three-time champion Philippine Army.

American beauty queen Alaina Bergsma proved unstoppable for Petron as the league MVP unloaded 24 points, including smashing kills in the third and fourth sets.

Top rookie bet Dindin Santiago added 14, while Frances Molina chipped in 12 for the Blaze Spikers.

“Overwhelming, mixed emotions,” said Petron coach George Pascua.

“The girls, they did their best kasi sabi ko once na umabot ng fifth set ibang usapan na. Doon na lalabas ang championship experience na advantage ng Generika,” added Pascua.

Behind by four in the third set, 10-14, Petron turned the game around and came with a commanding 10-1 run to finish the set at 25-15.

The Blaze Spikers sustained the momentum and pulled away from a tight 7-4 contest behind an emphatic 14-2 run to seize a commanding 21-6 lead en route to the title.

“Doon (sa 10-14) nag change ang momentum, 'yung kalaban nag-ingat na sa service nila, kaya kami pumuntos na ng pumuntos,” said Pascua.

Generika failed to attack as Petron was solid at the net with a total of 17 block points, while the Life Savers only had eight.

“In-expect ko na ganoon ang magiging outcome ng laro, kasi kasama sa game plan ko yun na pagtapatin si Bergsma at si (Natalia) Korobkova tapos aatakehin namin ang setter nila kasi maliit at naging successful naman,” said the Petron mentor.

“Pag si Korobkova dalawa o tatlo lagi ang blockers kasi pag ganoon gagawin niya tataasan niya ang palo naga-outside,” he added.

Natalia Korobkova had 15 points for Generika, while Aby Marano and Paneng Mercado added 11 and 10, respectively.

Other individual awardees outside of Bergsma include Lindsay Stalzer, first best outside spiker, of Cignal, second best outside spiker Emily Brown of RC Cola Air Force, second best middle blocker Marano, second best middle blocker Santiago, best opposite spiker Korobkova, best setter Erica Adachi of Petron, and best libero Jen Reyes of Petron.

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