Petron gets revenge, thwarts F2 for PSL Grand Prix crown
Petron avoided a repeat of last year and took down fierce rival F2 Logistics, 25-19, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, in a deciding Game 3 to win the 2018 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title Saturday night before a raucous crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
American imports Katherine Bell and Lindsay Stalzer teamed up in the fourth set to weather the Cargo Movers’ rally.
Back-to-back hits by Stalzer put Petron in front by six, 22-16, before Bell put the exclamation point with a crosscourt spike.
The Blaze Spikers, who lost to the Cargo Movers in the finals last year in the same conference, won their fourth championship overall but not without any anxious moments.
“Actually, there were moments in the game where there were a lot of things going through my mind. Honestly speaking, I was thinking about what’s going to happen,” said Petron head coach Shaq delos Santos in Filipino. “Will it be fate or will last year happen again?”
The Blaze Spikers got off to a fast start in the fourth set, taking a 12-2 lead, but the Cargo Movers refused to fold, cutting the deficit to just three, 16-13, before Bell and Stalzer restored order.
“Good thing, we not worked on our skills also the mental aspect of the game,” said delos Santos.
Remy Palma added 10 points while Mika Reyes and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas chipped in seven and six points, respectively for Petron. Rhea Dimaculangan outplayed F2’s newly-minted Best Setter Kim Fajardo with 29 excellent sets.
MJ Perez, last year’s MVP, led F2 Logistics with 19 points while Kennedy Bryan tallied 12 and Ara Galang scored 10.