PETRON turned back Cocolife, 26-24, 25-18, 21-25, 25-20, to stay unscathed in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Team captain Lindsay Stalzer finished with 22 points and 19 excellent receptions for the Blaze Spikers, who proved steadier in the final sets to end the first round with a perfect 7-0 win-loss record.
Ces Molina had 21 markers to fill the void left by American import Hillary Hurley, who sustained a right foot sprain and never returned.
“Sobrang proud kami sa players namin, imports and locals, kasi alam namin na magde-deliver,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos.
“Kanina na wala pa ang isang import namin pero hindi naman ako binigo (ni Ces), na-maximize namin ang strength niya so para sa amin malaking bagay,” he added.
Petron looked poised to finish the match at 16-11 in the third set, but squandered the lead and let the Asset Managers hang on for dear life.
The Blaze Spikers again led, 14-6, in the fourth set. The Asset Managers saved three match points, 20-24, but Stalzer scored on a powerful spike to end the match.
“Alam mo ‘yung killer instinct na kahit malayo ang score kailangan mo na tapusin namin ‘to kasi ‘di ‘to natatapos ng 24 (ang score), doon kami medyo nagkulang kanina,” admitted delos Santos.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas also had 13 markers for Petron while setter Rhea Dimaculangan made 53 of the team’s 57 excellent sets in a match that took two hours and nine minutes to finish.
Serbian import Sara Klisura led Cocolife both on offense and defense as she poured in 38 points to go with 17 digs and 12 excellent receptions.
Klisura fell just three points shy of her league record of 41 points.
American reinforcement Taylor Milton came up with 16 markers for the Asset Managers, who came from four-straight wins before absorbing their third loss in seven games for third place.
Defending champion F2 Logistics is in No. 2 spot with a 4-1 card.