DEFENDING champion Petron scored its fifth straight victory and snapped Foton’s win run at five, 27-25, 25-23, 25-16, on Saturday, gaining a share of the lead in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at La Salle Lipa Sentrum in Batangas.
Brazilian import Rupia Inck led the way with 19 points, while darling of the crowd Rachel Anne Daquis added 13 as the Blaze Spikers matched Philips Gold’s win-loss record of 7-2. Cignal is in third spot at 6-3, while Foton is in fourth at 6-4.
“Hopefully masustain namin hanggang sa finals. Big factor ’yun panalo sa amin kasi sa mga bata isa itong pang-boost ng morale,” said Blaze Spikers coach George Pascua.
Frances Molina had nine points, while Dindin Santiago Manabat and Aby Marano combined for just eight markers for Petron, which scored 25 points from Foton’s errors.
“Nag re-shuffle ako ng tao pero ’yung experience andoon na rin kaya kami nanalo at ang bench ko isa pa, malalim,” said Pascuar.
The Blaze Spikers and Slammers play their final match of the preliminiaries on Monday, with the top spot in the semifinals at stake. Cignal battles also-ran Meralco in the other match.
“Lahat naman ’yan magagaling so kung sino man ang makakatapat namin paghahandaan namin,” said Pascua, whose team lost to Cignal and Philips Gold in the first round.
“Pipilitin namin makabawi sa Philips Gold, same thing na ginawa namin sa Cignal,” he added.
Jaja Santiago scored 15 points, while American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Katie Messing had 14 and 12, respectively, for Foton.
The Tornadoes, at 6-4, could still rise to No. 3, depending on the result of the Cignal-Meralco match. A tie will be broken by points.