Blaze Spikers crush Oragons
Petron demolished Iriga City for its sixth win in seven outings.
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
4:15 p.m. -- Sta. Lucia Realty vs Cocolife
7:00 p.m. -- Victoria Sports-UST vs Foton
BATANGAS CITY – Petron delivered a preview of its championship form as it crushed Iriga City, 25-12, 25-15, 25-22, in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Batangas City Sports Center here.
Banking on their solid blocking and fluid attacks, the Blaze Spikers had a strong start and an even stronger finish to seal the victory and solidify their hold of the second spot with a 6-1 win-loss card.
Petron will close their single-round eliminations campaign against Cocolife.
The standings, however, could still change depending on the outcome of the gigantic match between two-time champion Foton and unbeaten F2 Logistics.
The Tornadoes and the Cargo Movers are still clashing as of posting time.
American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley led the scoring parade with 11 points apiece to underscore the Blaze Spikers dominance at the attack zone, 35-29.
Petron also ruled the blocking department, 7-1, and asserted dominance at the service box, 11-4, en route to the impressive victory.
“We just played our usual game,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos, stressing that they didn’t take the Lady Oragons lightly despite serving as the youngest member of the league. “We know that things will be tough down the stretch so we never underestimated our opponents and played our best."
But the victory wasn’t as easy as expected.
After dominating the first two sets, Delos Santos decided to field an all-Filipino crew of Rhea Dimaculangan, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Ria Meneses, Remy Palma, Frances Molina and Sisi Rondina.
The gamble nearly had a costly consequence as the Lady Oragons, behind the hot smashes of import Tamara Kmezic, took advantage of their shaky floor defense.
Iriga City raced to a three-point lead, 12-9, before Petron regained control, 18-17.
Then, he deployed Stalzer back into action.
“I had to field Lindsay in because I know that they (Iriga City) will gain momentum if they win the third set,” Delos Santos said. “I was even about to field in Hillary, but Ces was also playing good.”
With Stalzer in, the Blaze Spikers stabilized its offense as they gained the match point off an ace by Meneses, 24-22. Then, Molina scored a block for the final count.
Kmezic tallied 13 kills, a block and an ace for game-high 15 points while Saama Miyagawa chipped in six markers for Iriga City, who fell to 2-5 win-loss card.