DEFENDING champion Petron stopped United Volleyball Club’s third-set comeback, 25-12, 25-16, 25-20, to earn its fifth straight victory in the Philippines Superliga Grand Prix on Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The Blaze Spikers continued to bank on super imports Stephanie Niemer and Kath Bell to roll to the three-set win over United VC, which pushed the defending champions to the limit in the third set before seeing its two-game winning streak come to an end.
Niemer delivered the massive game-winning hit that denied UVC’s comeback in the third set and finished with 18 points and seven excellent receptions, while Bell, who turned 26 years old on gameday, celebrated her special day dropping 17 points off 15 kills and two blocks.
Mika Reyes also stepped up with 10 points, while setter Rhea Dimaculangan dished out 35 excellent sets to extend the Blaze Spikers’ unbeaten run to five games before facing rivals F2 Logistics Cargo Movers (4-0) on Thursday.
“Nung nagsub lang kami (nung third set) hindi lang naging effective yung substition namin. Pero normal lang yun kasi kailangan namin matest yung team,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Good thing they know how to handle yung ganung sitwasyon.”
United VC erased a 14-23 deficit through a 5-0 rally led by Kalei Mau bringing it down to a 19-23 disadvantage before the Blaze Spikers’ substitute middle blocker Chloe Cortez blocked Mau to stop the bleeding and reach match point, 24-19.
The Fil-Am star of UVC saved one more point, before Niemer ended the match with a massive hit to preserve their perfect record after an hour and 40 minutes encounter.
Import Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani led UVC with 13 points, while Mau had 11 hits including 14 excellent receptions and nine digs only for their two-game winning streak to be halted and dropped to 3-3 record before facing PLDT (3-2) on Thursday.