IT’S Petron-F2 Logistics finale for the fifth consecutive time.
Defending champions Petron Blaze Spikers made short work of the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-21, 25-20, 25-16, to barge into the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Finals on Tuesday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.
The Blaze Spikers didn’t waste their twice-to-beat advantage as they knocked the No. 4 HD Spikers out in the semifinals with their 12th straight win in their unbeaten conference so far for their seventh consecutive Finals appearance and ninth overall entry to the championship round.
Bernadeth Pons fueled Petron with 14 points built on 12 kills and two service aces including nine excellent receptions. Mika Reyes and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas dropped nine hits each, skipper Ces Molina had six markers with 16 digs, while Sisi Rondina only played in the third set but finished with five points.
Petron will take on rival F2 Logistics, which survived Generika-Ayala in five sets, for another much-anticipated best-of-three Finals series starting on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“Happy kami na makapasok sa Finals. But of course, championship talaga ang goal so alam namin na hindi pa kami tapos sa larong 'to,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos, who is eyeing a golden repeat in the All-Filipino Conference. “Kahit gaano naman kaganda ang laro namin, ibang usapan na sa Finals and kalaban pa ang F2.”
The Blaze Spikers needed to escape the tough challenge of the HD Spikers, who kept their foes within striking in the first two sets only to fall down the stretch of each sets, before the reigning champions pulled away in the third frame with an 18-10 cushion never looking back to go all the way to the Finals.
Rachel Anne Daquis was the only bright spot for Cignal with 18 points and 11 digs as the HD Spiker, who finished at fifth place in the preliminary with a 5-5 win-loss record before knocking out No.4 Foton Tornadoes in the quarterfinals, bowed out in the semifinals and will be relegated in battle for bronze against Generika-Ayala also on Saturday.