Petron closes in on duplicating historic feat
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 16, 2018 12:54 PM
Petron is just one win away from completing its second tournament sweep in the PSL All-Filipino Conference.
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – La Salle-Dasmarinas vs CSA
7:00 p.m. – Petron vs F2 Logistics
The deadly form that made Petron the most successful club team in the country was in full display when it crushed F2 Logistics, 25-23, 25-12, 25-17, in Game 1 of their Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference best-of-three finals series Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But for head coach Shaq Delos Santos, the battle is still far from over.
Delos Santos said celebration is not yet on their minds as they expect a furious fightback from the Cargo Movers in Game 2 of this prestigious women’s club tourney Tuesday at the same venue.
He said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus is the best in the business in tweaking his gameplan so he expects Game 2 to be another thrilling showcase of high-flying attacks, great defense and nail-biting rallies from both sides.
"Kami, think magandang pahinga, recovery, aral uli, pag-aralan namin sila ulit (sila). Siyempre for sure all out sila pero siyempre kami ready para dun,” said Delos Santos, whose wards moved a win shy of sweeping this tourney.
Delos Santos sure knows what he’s talking about.
In the Grand Prix last year, the Blaze Spikers hammered a convincing Game 1 win, thanks to the firepower of imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley as well as local stars Frances Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Mika Reyes.
But the Cargo Movers refused to quit.
De Jesus shocked his counterpart when he pulled veteran Cha Cruz from the bench to serve as the starting spiker while moving American Kennedy Bryan back to her original position at the opposite spot.
The gamble paid a handsome reward when the Cargo Movers crawled back from a 0-2 set lead all the way to a masterful Game 2 victory.
Then, they went for the kill in Game 3 to formally clinch the title of this highly competitive tourney.
Delos Santos stressed that de Jesus -- an 11-time champion coach for De La Salle University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines who also has three crowns in the PSL – won’t simply give up.
"Kilala namin sila alam namin trabaho ni coach Ramil especially sa ganyang sitwasyon pero mas magtatrabaho kami this time," said Delos Santos, who drew firepower from bench player Sisi Rondina and former Far Eastern University stars Bernadeth Pons and Remy Palma in Game 1.
Rondina delivered 12 points while Pons and Palma chipped in 10 and nine hits, respectively, for the Blaze Spikers, who are on the verge of duplicating a golden sweep of the conference they first achieved three years ago.