MANILA, Philippines—Petron came out firing at the end of each set, save the third, to make up for sluggish starts in the 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19 win over Cagayan Thursday night in the 2013 Philippine Super Liga volleyball invitational.
The Blaze Spikers overcame a 4-12 deficit in the second frame to post a 2-0 set lead, before the Lady Rising Suns made them pay for a 0-8 start in the third.
“Slow start kasi kami lagi. Tapos nung third, mas lalong naging slow,” admitted head coach Vilet Ponce de Leon.
“Nung first two sets medyo unorthodox yung ginawa kong rotation to compensate para sa mga wala. Nung third binalik ko sa ooriginal position,” she added.
Petron played sans Gretchen Ho and Roxanne Pimentel and had few key players late to the game like Rhea Dimaculang and Maika Ortiz.
Ponce de Leon said some off her players are coming off their day jobs and classes.
But Aiza Maizo carried the Blaze Spikers with 20 points, mostly off powerful hits, especially in the fourth set where she gave them the lead for good after a deadlock at 14.
Though the Lady Rising Suns remained in striking distance, Ange Tabaquero and Maika Ortiz also helped Petron to keep the lead.
Tabaquero added 14 points while Ortiz chipped in six for the Blaze Spikers, who faces Bingo Milyonaryo in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Cignal, meanwhile, got the second outright semifinals spot while Cagayan Valley droppped to fifth and is schedule to face PLDT-MyDSL in the playoffs.
The Rising Suns had 10 points off blocks, a testament of their formidable net defense all game long, but just had trouble holding on to their lead.
In the third, when Cagayan even opened with an eight to nothing run, Petron still managed to tie the game at 21 on efforts by Maizo.
Jo Cases led the Lady Rising Sungs with 14 points, Sandra Delos Santos with 12, Ana Benito and Jennifer Manzano with 11 apiece.