Petron extends All-Filipino Conference reign
Mark Escarlote on Dec 20, 2018 10:01 PM
Petron reigned supreme for the second straight year in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference.
Petron annexed its second straight Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference after conquering archrival F2 Logistics in straight sets, 25-22, 26-24, 25-23, Thursday in the deciding Game 3 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Blaze Spikers captured their fourth overall title and won their third crown in five Finals head-to-head against the Cargo Movers.
As expected it was a tight battle between two powerhouse squads but it was Petron’s composure at crunch time that made the difference for the Shaq Delos Santos-mentored squad, who almost duplicated its historic conference sweep in 2015 but was spoiled by the gritty F2 Logistics side in a Game 2 of the best-of-three series last Tuesday.
Conference Most Valuable Player Rhea Dimaculangan orchestrated the Blaze Spikers’ relentless attacks with 31 excellent sets.
Smelling blood after taking the first two sets, Petron opened the third set with a 5-0 blitz but the Cargo Movers crept back and kept the game close as they breathed down the necks of the Blaze Spikers, 23-21.
Dimaculangan pushed Petron at championship point on a heady drop ball but committed an error in the next play. The Blaze Spikers finally breathed a sigh of relief when F2 Logistics libero Dawn Macandili was whistled with a double contact that ended the one-hour, 58-minute duel.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, who was named Best Opposite Hitter, displayed her vintage form scoring 13 points with all but one coming off attacks and seven excellent receptions while Bernadeth Pons finished with 11 markers – all from kills - and four excellent receptions for the Blaze Spikers. Mika Reyes finished with nine points while skipper Ces Molina got nine markers to go with 22 digs for Petron.
The Blaze Spikers were able to score 45 attacks compared to F2 Logistics’ 29.
Petron took the opening set after a 5-0 run that turned an 18-19 deficit to a 23-19 lead that F2 Logistics failed to recover. The Blaze Spikers got into trouble in the second set after the Cargo Movers moved at set point, 24-23, off an Ara Galang hit. But Aby Marano sent her service wide as Petron took the next two points sealed by Reyes’ quick attack.
Petron took the series opener in straight sets, 25-23, 25-11, 25-17, before the Cargo Movers tied it with a 21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-17, Game 2 win.
Cha Cruz and Galang led the Cargo Movers with 10 points each.
Meanwhile, Rachel Anne Daquis of Cignal was named 1st Best Outside Spiker while Patty Orendain of Generika-Ayala got the 2nd Best outside Spiker award. Rounding up the individual award winners were Ria Meneses (1st Best Middle Blocker), F2 Logistics’ Majoy Baron (2nd Best Middle Blocker) and Kim Fajardo (Best Setter) and Generika-Ayala’s Kath Arado (Best Libero). Cignal’s Mylene Paat earned the Best Scorer award.
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