PETRON pounced on the Kalei Mau-less F2 Logistics, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18, to jumpstart its campaign on a high note in the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Sisi Rondina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas put on a show as as the Blaze Spikers took advantage of the absence of Mau, who sat out due to skin allergy, to prevail in their early rivalry battle in Pool B.
Rondina and Pontillas delivered 17 and 16 points, respectively, and had six excellent receptions each as Petron exacted sweet revenge on its Invitational finals tormentor in one hour and 34 minutes.
Ces Molina, coming off a national team build-up in Thailand last week with Pontillas and their head coach Shaq Delos Santos, had nine points and 15 digs as Petron took the early lead in Pool B tying Generika-Ayala, which it battles on Monday at the Arena in San Juan City.
“Sobrang ganda ng nilaro ng team but of course inexpect namin na talagang pipitpit yung kalaban namin,” said Delos Santos. “Sabi ko nga nga sa kanila alam natin yung quality niyan kahit lumamang tayo pipilitin nila mahabol tayo hanggang sa maipanalo nila yan. So kung ano man yung ginagawa namin sa game na tama stick lang kami.”
The Blaze Spikers played without Mika Reyes due to a knee injury and playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan, who is still regaining her top shape, but Remy Palma and back-up setter Angel Legacion were able to fill-in their big shoes.
Palma delivered the killer blows in the third set when they squandered a 19-10 spread and finished with seven markers, while Legacion made her first start for Petron with 13 excellent sets on top of 16 digs and four markers.
The Cargo Movers erased huge deficit and forced neck-and-neck duel in each set only to fall short committing crucial errors.
Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy and Ara Galang lifted F2 Logistics with nine points each, while Aduke Ogunsanya added seven markers only for their team to real at 0-1 tied with Marinerang Pilipina in their group.