PETRON head coach Shaq Delos Santos wants a full-tank performance from the Blaze Spikers to accomplish their title-retention bid in the winner-take-all Game 3 of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals.
“Hopefully, makapagkarga kami ng napakalakas na gasolina ng Petron, kukunin namin yung pinakamalakas na gasolina, para all-out agad kami sa Game 3,” beamed Delos Santos after salvaging the crucial Game 2 on Thursday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The Blaze Spikers and the Cargo Movers dispute the Grand Prix championship in Game 3 on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Delos Santos is reminding his team that they have to start strong and finish with a flourish in the rubber match as the Blaze Spikers both lost the opening sets of the first two matches.
“Parang nakikiramdam nanaman kami kung ano yung ilalaro ng kalaban and then kami medyo shaky nanaman yung first set,” the women’s national team coach said. “Good thing and nakakaproud nung second set hinabol namin talagang nakipagpatayan kami doon kailangan makuha namin yung set na yun.”
The defending champions lost Game One in frustrating fashion as the Cargo Movers ended their 17-game unbeaten run. But they showed more resiliency in Game 2, bucking a slow start before taking control of the succeeding sets to force a decider.
Delos Santos was relieved that they recovered from a crucial loss, which served as a wake-up call for them that their winning streak from the preliminary round, quarterfinals until semis meant nothing - especially if they won’t win the title.
“‘Mahirap man tanggapin or masakit man tanggapin nagkaroon kami ng complacency,” the Petron coach said. “For us, mahirap din kasi yung pinagdaanan namin hindi porket nananalo ka, perfect ka na. Yun yung mas mahirap din ingatan gaya nun nung dulo pa Game 1 pa kami natalo.”
As Petron tries to complete its back-to-back Grand Prix championships in Game 3, Delos Santos believes that imports Kath Bell and Stephanie Niemer are going to save their best performance in their last PSL match this season.
“Kailangan din namin makarecover muna yung imports kasi sobrang all out sila,” Delos Santos said. “Kausap namin sila yung eagerness talaga nila, of course yung locals din naman, pero yung mga imports sobrang gusto talagang makabawi.”