Petron looks for solo lead

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 27, 2016 08:06 PM
Petron looks for solo lead
Defending champion Petron attempts to shake out of a three-way logjam for the solo lead.

Reigning champion Petron shoots for solo leadership when it battles slumping Cignal when the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament moves back to Cuneta Astrodome Tuesday.

Action kicks off at 6:00 pm following the 4:00 pm encounter between Foton and Amy’s.

Locked in a three-way logjam at the top with F2 Logistics and RC Cola-Army, the Tri-Activ Spikers are looking good with their impenetrable floor defense and fluid offense bannered by veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and newly-recruit Bernadeth Pons of Far Eastern University.

In their 25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 27-25 win over Generika last Saturday, in fact, Maizo-Pontillas and Pons took turns in peppering the defense with hot smashes from the wings while Bang Pineda and Jen Reyes were very active in providing the backbone on defense.

Maizo-Pontillas registered 16 of her 17 points on kills while Pons had 12 hits and three blocks to finish the night with 16 points for Petron, which underwent a massive overhaul in the off-season following the departure of Rachel Anne Daquis, Aby Marano, Dindin Manabat and Fille Cayetano.

“Although I love the result of our previous games, the job is not yet done. It’s still a long way to go,” said Petron coach George Pascua, who is trying to duplicate their 13-0 sweep of last year’s season-opening conference.  “We still have to work hard. All teams are strong. We can’t afford to be complacent.”

Cignal, however, is tipped to give Petron a serious run for its money.

After absorbing a four-set loss to the Cargo Movers in the opener and a straight-set defeat to the Lady Troopers over the weekend, the HD Spikers are eager to gain redemption and vowed to pour it all out against the Tri-Activ Spikers.

Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar, for one, admitted that the players had a heart-to-heart talk among themselves to address the issue and stop the early bleeding.

Defensive monster Jeanette Panaga has yet to live above expectation while Carmela Tunay, Janine Navarro and Cherry Vivas all look sluggish early on.

“We have yet to find the right chemistry on the floor,” said Acaylar, a prolific mentor who served as deputy when the country won its last gold medal in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games in 1993.

“But it’s good that this issue cropped up early on. At least we still have more time to solve this problem. We still have six more games. It’s still a long way to go. But we have to figure out a solution as soon as possible.”

In the curtain-raiser, Foton will seek its second win against a young Amy’s squad.

The Tornadoes dropped their opening-day encounter to Petron, but quickly regained composure when they edged Generika in four sets, a game which saw the conversion of prized middle blocker Jaja Santiago into a wing spiker in preparation for the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship this September.

Amy’s, on the other hand, has yet to win a set in this tournament after being ranged against mighty RC Cola-Army and F2 Logistics in its first two outings. 

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