Petron nails s’final berth; Foton stretches win streak to 3
Petron needed just a little spark late in the first set to destroy Meralco, 27-25, 25-20, 25-21, and advance to the semifinals of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix women’s volleyball at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan Thursday night.
The Blaze Spikers started off cold and trailed 19-23 in the first set but Dindin Manabat and Rupia Inck caught fire to steal the set, change the complexion of the match, and reward the squad with the lead with a 6-2 record.
The Power Spikers took their sixth defeat in as many games.
“We still need to strive to win the remaining games,” said Petron coach George Pascua.
Earlier, Foton took down Philips Gold, 25-14, 25-22, 18-25, 25-18, for its third straight victory.
Rookie sensation Jaja Santiago slammed 18 points, while imports Lindsay Stalzer and Katie Messing accounted for 17 points each as the Tornadoes sustained their strength to register their fourth win in seven games.
It was a morale-boosting win for Foton which proved itself against one of the conference’s tough squad Philips Gold. Yet other than opposite hitter Bojanna Todorovic, there was no one who stepped up for the Lady Slammers at crunchtime.
Philips Gold also saw its four-game winning streak snapped and it now fell to 4-2.
“It’s a big win for us and I think the players are enjoying themselves on the court which is a good thing,” said Foton coach Vilet Ponce de Leon.
She said the long break didn’t stop their momentum but instead helped the Tornadoes gather more steam going into the important phase of the tourney.
“We really need that break because we played high intensity games last week,” added De Leon whose charges downed co league-leader Cignal during that winning run.
“At the start of the conference the team just got together. I’m talking about my imports and the locals and my three students,” added De Leon.
With Santiago, Messing and Stalzer all finding their range, Foton poised for a quick win. But Philips Gold had other plans, unleashing Todorovic to fire away and threw Foton’s rhythm off to force a fourth set.
Foton then broke free from a tight fourth when Angeli Araneta hit a winner and Messing and Santiago blocked Myla Pablo to take the lead 19-15 and never looked back.
Ivy Perez had 23 excellent sets for Foton, outplaying Philips Gold’s Lindsay Dowd who had 14. Todorovic also spread herself too thin, manning the defines with 10 excellent receptions.