PETRON kept its unbeaten record in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference as it added pesky Philips Gold to its list of victims, 25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 25-17 at the start of the second round eliminations Monday night at the Astrodome.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat had a game-high 23 points from 17 spikes, four blocks, and two service aces for the Blaze Spikers, who extended their winning run to six.
Rachel Anne Daquis and Aby Marano chipped in 12 and 10 markers, respectively, for the league leader.
“Thank God at (nanalo),” said Petron coach George Pascua shortly after the win.
“Na-execute namin ang game plan namin though may mga lapses. Hindi naman kasi maiwasan ‘yun, good thing na-overcome namin ‘yun.”
Petron finished off Philips Gold by scoring the game’s last six points, capped by a Maica Morada back-to-back service aces to send the expansion team to its fourth loss in six outings.
The Blaze Spikers took an hour and 54 minutes to complete the match.
Pascua admitted he opted not to conduct practice the day before the game to give his players time to recover since most of the Blaze Spikers are also seeing action in the Shakey’s V-League.
Santiago-Manabat and Mina Aganon are suiting up as guest players for Philippine Army, where they join Daquis, a regular mainstay for the Lady Troopers.
Marano, Jen Reyes, Morada, and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano are also playing for Meralco in the V-League.
“’Di ko na pina-ensayo kahapon para kahit papano may recovery ang buong team,” said Pascua.
After winning the third set, Philips Gold took an early lead in the fourth 7-4 behind a 5-0 blast. But Petron answered with its own 5-2 spurt to tie the contest at 9-9.
Rossan Fajardo sparked a 3-1 blitz for the Lady Slammers for a 12-10 breather, before the Blaze Spikers stepped on the gas and unloaded seven unanswered points to take the driver’s seat, 17-12.
Philips Gold kept it close at 17-19 which proved to be the final stand of the Lady Slammers.
Myla Pablo made 17 points, including several powerful attacks in the fourth set for Philips Gold, while team captain Michele Gumabao added 15.
In the first round, the Blaze Spikers also denied the Lady Slammers a win on opening day, 25-16, 25-18, 25-23.
But Pascua noted how the Lady Slammers has grown as a team in so short a time.
“Nagkaalaman na ng strategy (sa second round), na scout na ang mga teams, so may mga adjustments na rin at mas aggressive sila ngayon,” he said.
“Si Pablo magaling na player kaya lang wala katulong,” he added. “Pero the rest of the team magaling ang Philips Gold.”