KATHERINE Bell fired 31 points to fuel Petron in beating former teammate Lindsay Stalzer and F2 Logistics, 23-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-18, to preserve the solo lead and unbeaten record in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Thursday at the Arena in San Juan City.
American import Bell unleashed a season-high 31 points built on 26 kills, four blocks and an ace to lift the Blazer Spikers from their first dropped set of the conference before handing rivals Cargo Movers their first defeat.
Petron’s other import Stephanie Niemer scattered 14 spikes, six service aces and two blocks for 22 points including 23 digs, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Remy Palma added seven points each.
Reigning All-Filipino MVP Rhea Dimaculangan made 29 excellent sets, while libero Denden Lazaro played her first Petron vs F2 Logistics games with 20 digs and 10 excellent receptions as the Blaze Spikers seized the solo lead with a 6-0 win-loss record before wrapping up their first round against Cignal (4-2) on Saturday at Muntinlupa Sports Center.
“Natest namin yung team namin siyempre isa sa mga malalakas na team sa PSL,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Nung first set talagang struggle kami, passing and service.”
The defending champion dropped its first set loss in the tournament as from 22-all Bell’s back-to-back attack errors and Pontillas’s service error let F2 Logistics drew the first blood.
“Kilala naman namin sila pag gusto nilang maglaro nang maayos possible makuha yung win,” Delos Santos added.
But Delos Santos knew that his wards would not let their team down and bounced back in the succeeding sets especially in the fourth frame where, they pulled away with a 20-11 spread before the Cargo Movers took advantage of the Blazer Spikers’ errors cutting it down to 21-17 from Aby Maraño’s service ace.
Niemer’s cross court hit, Palma’s ace and an attack error from Stalzer put Petron at match point, 24-17, before Palma committed a service error but Bell ended the rivalry match with a massive hit.
Stalzer had 21 points for F2 Logistics and struggled against her former team with a 19-of-71 clipping in attacks to go with 16 digs.
Becky Perry and Ara Galang contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively, while libero Dawn Macandili was everywhere with 30 digs and 16 excellent receptions only for the Cargo Movers to drop with a 5-1 card at second place before Saturday’s match against PLDT (3-3).