PETRON relied on twin towers Alaina Bergsma and Dindin Santiago to dispose Generika, 26-24, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, in the main game of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix opener at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.
The 6-foot-3 Bergsma, Miss Oregon 2012, readily showed she’s at home with the Blaze Spikers after pouring in 23 points in tandem with the 6-foot-2 Santiago, who tallied 22 markers.
Former San Beda ace Frances Molina also joined the fray by adding 13 for Petron, which tied earlier winner Cignal on top of the standings with similar 1-0 cards.
"Medyo disadvantage 'yung dalawang malaki kasi natatabunan 'yung mga maliliit sa likod," said Petron coach George Pascua in jest.
"Pero malaking tulong sila sa blocking," he added referring to Bergsma and Santiago. "Si Alaina mina-maximize ko talaga ang skill niya. Pag nasa harap siya, blocking at opensa. Pag naman nasa likod, dumedepensa at the same time umu-opensa pa."
Petron squandered an 18-14 lead in the third set as Generika poured in seven straight points to grab the upperhand,21-18, behind Cha Cruz, Michele Gumabao, Micmic Laborte, and Abi Marano.
The Blaze Spikers managed to hang on, 23-24, but the Life Savers scored to extend the match.
But Bergsma and Santiago proved unstoppable in the fourth as each scored seven and five points, apiece, including Petron’s last two points to clinch the win.
Meanwhile, Eca Adachi, Petron’s Brazilian setter, registered 47 of the team's 49 excellent sets in the match.
"Sabi ko sa kanila umpisahan natin ng maganda, sinabihan ko rin 'yung setter na 'wag lang magrely kay Alaina kasi 'yung mga locals competitive rin naman," said Pascua.
"Sabi ko kay Adachi na hanapin ang may maliit na blocker, kumbaga sa basketball 'yung mismatch," he added.
Russian import Natalia Korobkova finished with 26 points for Generika built around 23 spikes, two blocks, and a service ace.
The 6-foot-3 spiker got help from Laborte, Cruz, and Marano who added 14, 12 and 10 markers, respectively for the Life Savers, who joined All-Filipino runner up RC Cola Air Force among the first day losers.