Petron takes a slice of the lead
Petron razed Cocolife to take a share of the lead with idle Foton at the end of its elimination round campaign.
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
4:00 p.m. --- Cignal vs Victoria Sports-UST
6:00 p.m. --- Iriga City vs F2 Logistics
Heavyweight Petron unleashed its torrid attacks before watching Cocolife crumble to pressure in the crucial stretch to score a 25-19, 25-21, 25-22 victory in the 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
American import Lindsay Stalzer delivered the goods, lifting the Blaze Spikers to another easy victory for a share of the lead with idle Foton at 7-1.
But its chances of clinching the top spot in the sudden-death quarterfinals appear nil as F2 Logistics will gain superior quotient provided that it clobbers struggling Iriga City in the final day of eliminations on Saturday.
"Sabi nga namin sa team na hindi dapat mag-underestimate ng kalaban lalo na ngayong last game namin sa elimintion round. Ang goal kasi namin is magkaroon kami nang magandang morale pagpasok sa quarters," said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos.
Stalzer fired 11 kills, three blocks and two aces for 16 points while carrying the cudgels in the deciding set to keep Petron within striking distance, 18-20.
American Hillary Hurley scored on a block and a kill to knot the count before Ces Molina unleashed a powerful hit from the open spot to grab the lead, 21-20.
Cocolife American reinforcement Tai Manu-Olevao tied things up at 21, but she committed an attack error followed by another error by Wensh Tiu and another miscue by Lutgarda Malaluan that pushed the Blaze Spikers at match point, 24-21.
Then, Molina converted on a well-executed combination play to seal the victory.
Manu-Olevao tallied 15 attacks and an ace for 16 points for the Asset Managers, who finished the eliminations with a 3-5 win-loss card.
Their fate in the quarterfinals, however, still depends on the outcome of the matches between Generika-Ayala and Sta. Lucia, still playing as of posting time, as well as Cignal and Victoria Sports-UST on Saturday.