Petron dethrones Foton, faces F2 Logistics in Finals
American import Hillary Hurley played a monster game to help propel Petron into the Finals.
American imports Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer came out with all guns blazing as they led Petron to a return stint in the Finals.
The duo delivered the goods to help the Blaze Spikers dethrone two-time champion Foton in a hard-earned 30-28, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, win in the knockout Final Four of the of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Petron set up a best-of-three Finals showdown against F2 Logistics starting Tuesday in a rematch of this season’s All-Filipino Conference championship won by the Cargo Movers.
Stalzer pumped in 25 points while Hurley got 24 markers as the duo combined for 43 of the Blaze Spikers' 55 attacks in a win that served as a payback for Petron's Grand Prix losses in the previous two editions against Foton.
“Laging maganda 'yung laban, sobrang thankful talaga kami kasi nu’ng last year na first time ko nag-coach ng Grand Prix, sila rin 'yung kalaban namin sa finals and hindi kami nanalo sa kanila. Kung baga sa amin, parang napakalaking achievement ngayon na nag-knockout game kami and kami ‘yung nanalo,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos.
Rhea Dimaculangan tallied 23 excellent sets whille Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda had 23 digs for the Blaze Spikers. Stalzer, who led Foton to back-to-back crowns before transferring to Petron, posted nine digs and six excellent receptions.
The Blaze Spikers went behind early in the first set before mounting a great comeback. Foton equalized in the second frame but Petron found second wind in the third and fourth.
The Tornadoes, which will take on Cocolife in a sudden death battle for bronze, made a final push in the fourth frame to close a 17-24 deficit to 21-24 but Dindin Santiago-Manabat overcooked her service to surrender the match and their throne.
Jaja Santiago finished with 23 points off 17 kills, four kill blocks and a pair of aces while Serbian Sara Klisura had 22 for Foton. Montenegrin reinforcement Dragana Perunicic scored 13 markers while Maika Ortiz chipped in eight for the Tornadoes.
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