BACOOR CITY — Petron overcame a diesel start before dispatching Generika-Ayala, 26-24, 25-12, 25-19, at the start of the second round of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the Strike Gym.
The Blaze Spikers had an off start trailing 11-17 to the Lifesavers in the first set before catching fire to steal the opening frame and dominate the remainder of the match that lasted for one hour and 37 minutes.
Bernadeth Pons showed the way with 18 points, nailing 17 attacks and an ace, laced with nine excellent receptions as Petron kept the solo second spot with a 7-1 win-loss record behind unbeaten leader F2 Logistics (7-0).
Remy Palma put up eight kills, three aces and a pair of blocks for 13 points, while Ces Molina had 12 hits including 21 digs. Rhea Dimaculangan dished out 25 excellent sets.
“Slow start lang talaga siguro yung receive at attack namin nagstruggle kami,” Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos said. “Kahit malaki yung lamang nakakatuwa kasi hinabol talaga ng team hanggang sa naipanalo namin.”
Sisi Rondina missed the match as she was with the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses in South Korea as their reward for their silver medal finish in the UAAP Season 81 Finals.
Exactly a week after their first round match, Petron took down Generika-Ayala at the same place with the same straight-set result completing a premilinary-round sweep on their foe.
“Malaking bagay sa akin yan dahil ang Generika halos lahat ng team kaya nilang i-beat, siyempre kami din kaya rin nila kami,” Delos Santos said. “Pero siyempre pinaghandaan talaga namin sila mabuti dahil alam naming pag gumana yung team nila, mahihirapan kami.”
From a poor 11-17 start, the Blaze Spikers unloaded a 7-1 run to tie the set before Pons put them at set point, 24-22, only for her to commit an attack error and Jamie Lavitoria’s
drop ball forced a deuce, 24-all. Pons brought back the team at set point with another strong hit before a crucial attack error from Angeli Araneta to complete the first set comeback.
The troika of Lifesavers Araneta, Fiola Ceballos and Patty Orendain were once again limited by Petron from their usual numbers with Araneta being the lone scorer with 10 points, Ceballos adding nine markers, while Orendain being limited to only five.
Generika-Ayala dropped to 5-3 record now sharing the third place with Foton, which beat Sta. Lucia in five sets earlier.