CES Molina unleashed 26 points to fuel Petron in dispatching Foton, 25-14, 25-27, 25-14, 25-12, and to complete a first-round sweep in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Molina unloaded 19 kills, five service aces, and a pair of blocks to extend the winning streak of the Blaze Spikers to seven games heading into the next round as they torched the Tornadoes in one hour and 36 minutes.
The Petron skipper got an ample help from her teammates with Bernadeth Pons dropping 13 hits, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas contributing11 points and as many as digs, while Mika Reyes and Sisi Rondina adding 10 and eight markers, respectively. Rhea Dimaculangan was also instrumental with 46 excellent sets on top of seven points.
Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos was happy and proud but he won’t be satisfied as there is still a long way to go in their title-retention bid.
“Siyempre happy and proud para sa team namin,” Delos Santos said. “Pero siyempre honestly speaking hindi eto yung talagang gusto namin. Mahirap kasi gawin hindi siya ganun kadali na kailangan masweep ang first round. Ang goal lang namin is one game at a time kung sino yung kalaban, paghahandaan.”
“Good thing maganda yung naging result but of course kailangan work hard pa rin kasi second round na so mas marami kaming kailangan trabahuin,” he added.
The reigning champions, who holds an immaculate 7-0 win-loss recordX will be in Pool A with third seeded Foton (5-2), Smart (2-5) and Sta. Lucia (0-7)
Petron takes on the winless Sta. Lucia on Saturday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
The Blaze Spikers dominated the Tornadoes in all the sets they won except for the second set loss that served as their wake up call to get their acts together.
“Off talaga yung laro ng players namin and then nawala din yung defense namin and then, gumanda yung laro ng Foton ang ganda ng depensa nila, ang ganda ng atake so kami hindi nakasabay doon kinulang kami,” he said. “Sabi ko lang I think gising na kayo this time. Hindi pwede maging complacent and hindi naman kailangan pa na marami pa akong sasabihin sa inyo alam ko naman na alam nila yung gagawin nila diyan.”
Maika Ortiz and Mina Aganon led Foton with 19 and 15 points, respectively, only to suffer their second loss in the tournament dropping to the third place.
The Tornadoes’ first second round assignment will be against Petron on Tuesday at the Bacoor Strike Gym.