Petron marches to the Finals

Mark Escarlote on Jul 21, 2018 06:45 PM
Petron marches to the Finals
Petron booke a ticket into the Finals after sweeping Smart-Army.

Petron made a short work of Smart-Army, 25-12, 25-15, 25-17, to book a ticket to the Finals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference Saturday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.

Marching in the finals for the fifth consecutive time since the 2016 Grand Prix, the Blaze Spikers will face the winner of F2 Logistics and Cignal in a best-of-three championship series starting Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. 

Sisi Rondina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas led the assault with nine points apiece while Ces Molina and Mika Reyes chipped in eight and seven hits, respectively. 

“It was an unpredictable match-up for us. So we focused on our team, our strengths and good thing we executed it well,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos, who is eyeing their second straight title of the season.

It took only 70 minutes for Petron to dispatch Smart-Army winning the first two sets easily and pulled away with a 20-14 lead from seven straight points before Rondina nailed four of their last five points.

Dimdim Pacres was the lone bright spot as she finished with seven points for Smart-Army, which was relegated to the battle for bronze medal against the loser in the other semifinal pairing.

Meanwhile, Generika-Ayala shut down its campaign on a high note as it prevailed over Sta. Lucia, 25-10, 24-26, 25-10, 25-18, to grab the fifth place.

Patty Orendain delivered the major blows for the Lifesavers, who bounced back from a heart-crushing loss to Smart-Army in the quarterfinals.

Orendain finished with 23 points while Angeli Araneta tallied 14 hits for Generika-Ayala, which started the conference on fire with a 3-1 win-loss card before falling prey to the experienced Giga Hitters in the playoffs.

Fiola Ceballos also had an impressive performance with 13 markers, 20 digs and nine excellent receptions while libero Kat Arado protected the floor with 19 digs and nine receptions.

The Lifesavers lost the second set committing two crucial errors that allowed the Lady Realtors to tie the match one-set apiece.

But they managed to get their acts together and recovered in the third set with another 15-point rout for a 2-1 set lead.

Generika-Ayala pulled away in the fourth set with a 19-13 lead, but Sta. Lucia hung within striking distance, 20-15, before Orendain hit four of their last five points to seal the fifth place win.

It was such a sorry loss for the Lady Realtors, who finished third in Pool B with a 3-3 mark before losing to might F2 Logistics in the quarterfinals.

National pool member MJ Philips was on the sidelines with a minor shoulder tear, prompting Jonah Sabete and Pam Lastimosa to step up with 10 and nine markers, respectively.

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