PHILIPS Gold pulled off a close 28-30, 29-27, 25-17, 25-23 win over defending champion Petron to seize the solo lead in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan on Monday.
Former UCLA spiker Bo Todorovic came away with a conference-high 38 points while fellow American import Alexis Olgard added 21 markers as the Lady Slammers halted Petron’s five-game winning run.
“Desisyon ng mga bata din yan. Gusto nilang maging No. 1,” said Philips Gold coach Francis Vicente.
The Lady Slammers ended the double-round eliminations with an 8-2 record while the Blaze Spikers dropped to second spot with 7-3.
Philips Gold will face either Cignal or Foton in the semifinals depending on the result of the HD Spikers' duel with also-ran Meralco, which was still being played at posting time.
Cignal needs to win in straight sets to secure the No. 3 slot in the do-or-die semis which starts Thursday.
Local ace spiker Myla Pablo missed the match due to school commitments at National University but second stringer and former NU player Cai Nepomuceno rose to the occasion with 10 points.
“Maganda ang resulta. Kumbaga sa amin ay kahit anong mangyari lahat magtatrabaho. Kung wala ang isa may sasalong isa. It’s a good thing sinalo ni Cai Nepumoceno,” said the veteran mentor.
“Kailangan everybody should be capable of doing their jobs even though wala ‘yung isa kailangan lahat sila tulong-tulong, teamwork,” added Vicente.
Brazilian reinforcement Rupia Inck delivered 26 points for Petron while Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Rachel Anne Daquis chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively.