CAGAYAN DE ORO — Sisi Rondina erupted with 32 points and rescued Petron in the fifth set to survive a tough challenge from Foton, 25-23, 24-26, 24-26, 25-22, 19-17, and secure the No. 1 spot in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Saturday at the Corpus Christi Gym.
Rondina put on a show in Cagayan de Oro unleashing 27 kills, four blocks and an ace and had a tremendous effort with 20 digs and 10 excellent receptions.
The University of Santo Tomas standout also completed Petron’s comeback from a 1-2 match disadvantage by delivering the killer blows in the fifth set.
With the Blaze Spikers earning the match point five times, Rondina was accountable for the last three before Bernadeth Pons delivered the winning-hit that sealed No.1 spot for Petron.
“Grabe! Grabe! Bilib ako sa puso ng team. Ramdam na namin yung pagod nila pero siyempre sabi ko nga sa kanila wag maggigive up,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Talagang grabe sila (Foton). Grabeng effort yung ginawa nila at yung eagerness nila na talunin kami.”
Mika Reyes and Ces Molina were also instrumental with 13 points apiece. Pons had 12 points. Setter Rhea Dimaculangan dished out 30 excellent sets, while Denden Lazaro had another day at the office with 22 digs and 13 excellent receptions.
Petron finished the preliminaries with 11 straight wins and a league-best 13-1 win-loss record facing cellar-dweller Marinerang Pilipina in the knockout quarterfinals.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat was Petron’s biggest challenge as she put up 31 points off 28 kills and three blocks including 16 digs.
Manabat also kept her team afloat saving three match points. Jaja Santiago had 26 points, while Elaine Kasilag and Shaya Adorador had 11 and nine markers, respectively. Gyselle Sy had 36 excellent sets.
Foton failed to complete its upset sliding to 7-6 card tied with Cignal at No.4.