SUPER imports Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer fueled Petron’s 25-19, 25-9, 25-10 demolition of PLDT Home Fiber to open its title-retention bid on a high note in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix yesterday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Bell and Niemer lifted Petron from a slow start in the first set until getting their unstoppable form to rout PLDT in an hour and 26 minutes.
Bell topscored for the Blaze Spikers with 15 points off 14 kills including 10 digs, while Niemer delivered nine spikes, three aces and a pair of blocks for 14 hits.
Mika Reyes chipped in seven points, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Remy Palma added six apiece. Denden Lazaro also made a convincing debut as Petron’s new libero with 10 excellent digs out of 11 attempts.
“Medyo nagstruggle kami first set siguro dahil first game namin. Excited din yung mga players namin na maglaro yung dalawang imports namin,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Sabi nga namin relax lang, hinga muna at focus lang sa game. Good thing nakarecover.”
The Blaze Spikers take on Generika-Ayala (0-1) on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Petron bucked a slow start trailing 5-11 in the first set before cutting it down to one, 18-19, until the Blaze Spikers unleashed seven straight points to draw the first blood and played unstoppable in the succeeding sets mounting big leads 19-7 in the second set and 17-5 in the third frame never looking back to win their first game.
Import Grace Lazard was the lone bright spot for PLDT with 14 points, while her fellow reinforcement, Kendra Dahlke, only had four markers as her team gave up 24 errors in the game.
PLDT tries to bounce back against Cignal also on Thursday at 2 p.m.