Petron dethrones F2 Logistics in title series sweep
Mark Escarlote on Jul 13, 2017 09:52 PM
Sisi Rondina of Petron pounds an attack away from the two-man block of F2 Logistics' Majoy Baron and Kim Dy.
The drought is over.
Two years removed from the throne Petron needed all the energy they could muster in the deciding fifth set to call themselves champions once again.
The Blaze Spikers outlasted the dethroned F2 Logistics in an epic five-set battle of nerves, 26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 25-23, 15-11 to complete a best-of-three 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference title series sweep Thursday night at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
National team member Ces Molina played a solid game especially in the deciding frame, scoring five of the last eight points of Petron to finally put an end to the club’s dry spell since winning the 2015 All-Filipino title.
Cherry Rondina, who transferred from Foton, led Petron with 16 points but sat out in the fifth set with head coach Shaq Delos Santos opting to give Molina the crucial minutes.
Tournament Most Valuable Player Aiza Maizo-Pontillas delivered 14 markers while Bernadeth Pons and Ces Molina finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively for the Blaze Spikers, who took the series opener, 25-23, 25-21, 25-19, last Tuesday.
The Cargo Movers tied the deciding frame at 7 after an attack error by Petron’s Remy Palma. But a crucial service error by F2 Logistics’ Fritz Gallenero followed by back-to-back hits of Molina put Petron back on top, 10-7.
The Cargo Movers tied the set at 11 for the last time off a through the block hit by Ara Galang before Molina scored on the next play.
Galang smashed her spike long before the former San Beda College star Molina pushed the Blaze Spikers at championship point, 14-11.
A net touch error by the Cargo Movers ignited the celebration for Petron.
Down, 1-2, the Blaze Spikers forced a deciding frame with Maizo-Pontillas pounding a thunderous kill to stop F2 Logistics’ comeback attempt after bridging the gap, 23-24.
The Cargo Movers showed grit in the second set with a dramatic comeback that saw F2 Logistics save four match points in a 6-0 rally that stunned the Blaze Spikers.
With Mika Reyes, who transferred to Petron from F2 Logistics during the offseason, putting a clog at the net, the Blaze Spikers broke a tight see-saw battle in the second frame to move at set point, 24-20, off a hit by Rondina. Palma served long and it was enough opening for the Cargo Movers to move in to steal the frame.
Galang sparked the closing run with back-to-back hits. Rondina was denied on the next play that forced a deuce before F2 Logistics sealed the frame with two straight points capped by Kim Fajardo’s service ace.
Pumped up with their pulsating escape in the second set, the Cargo Movers went toe-to-toe with the Blaze Spikers in the third frame.
Petron again squandered a 24-23 lead with F2 Logistics punching in three unanswered points sealed by a service winner by Baron to put the Cargo Movers on top with a 2-1 match lead.
The Blaze Spikers took the opening set by rallying from a 22-24 deficit with four straight markers capped by Reyes’ block on Kim Dy.
Galang scored 20 points of 17 attacks and three aces for the Cargo Movers. Aby Marano had 14 markers, Majoy Baron got 13 with seven coming off kill blocks while Tin Tiamzon finished with 10 for F2 Logistics.
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