Sisi Rondina caught fire and powered Petron to a heart-stopping 25-11, 20-25, 25-22, 25-27, 16-14 win over Cignal to remain unbeaten in Pool C of the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference Saturday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
With Rondina running wild, the Blaze Spikers survived a sluggish 4-9 start and erased a 10-13 deficit in the crucial stretch of the fifth set en route to the victory in this prestigious women’s club tourney.
The high-flying former University of Santo Tomas spiker delivered 29 kills and four aces for a game-high 33 points for the Blaze Spikers, who are now on top of the standings with a 5-0 record.
They can complete a sweep of the eliminations with a win over PLDT Home Fibr in a rare Sunday duel at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Coming into this game, sabi nga namin, kailangan naming tanggalin yung sumpa na yun. Ang ginaw naming, hindi kami tumigil. Basta nasa taas yung bola. Stick to the game plan kami. Hindi kami bumitaw,” said Rondina, recalling their sorry setback to the HD Spikers in the semifinals of the All-Filipino Conference two months ago.
Rondina said despite the chip on her shoulder, she kept her focus and increased her level of competitiveness.
Petron will face the No. 2 team in Pool D in the knockout semifinals on Tuesday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center in Malolos City, Bulacan.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas also led the way for Petron with 21 points as well as Bernadeth Pons contributing eight markers, 19 digs and six excellent receptions.
Actually, the Blaze Spikers came just a point away from wrapping up the match in the fourth set, 24-17, but the HD Spikers waxed hot and dropped a 10-1 run capped by Rondina’s attack error and Jovelyn Gonzaga’s set-clinching hit.
Mylene Paat powered nailed 20 points while skipper Rachel Anne Daquis had 16 markers on top of seven of the HD Spikers’ 13 blocks.
Gonzaga was also impressive, putting up 10 points and 21 digs while Robins-Hardy dished out 20 excellent sets and added nine markers.
Cignal absorbed its first defeat in six matches and finished the elimination round at the second spot of Pool C to arrange a sudden-death semis duel with the top team in Pool D.