Petron turns to a familiar force | Inquirer Sports

Answering the bell: Petron turns to a familiar force

/ 05:00 AM March 01, 2020

Kath Bell with the new Petron Blaze Spikers. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

A lot sure has changed since Kath Bell last played for the Petron Blaze Spikers.

She returned to a team whose core was decimated by departures of key stars. There’s a new coach on the bench, too.


But there are some things that remained pretty much the same in the Philippine Super­liga Grand Prix.


Petron is still the defending champion. And when the Blaze Spikers needed it, Bell kept responding.

Bell assumed her familiar role in the roster as Petron subdued Generika-Ayala, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21, Saturday at the Grand Prix opener, providing a gentle reminder that it is the tournament’s defending champion.

“She knows what to do. And we already now where she wants to attack whether in the back row or not,” said new Petron coach Emil Lontoc, who replaced Shaq delos Santos.

Bell rejoined a Petron squad whose champion core was shredded with the departure of eight players, including Mike Reyes, Rhea Dimaculangan and Sisi Rondina. Dimaculangan, in fact, was on the opposite side of the court as a key Generika acquisition.

“When I arrived, there were only five players left,” Lontoc said.

And that made Bell, a stabilizing force and a familiar face, an important returnee.


“It’s good to come back; I love it so much,” said Bell, who was part of Petron’s two previous Grand Prix title runs.

“It’s a different environment, different coach, but the same kind of philosophy, same mentality. Working hard, pushing each other,” added Bell, who once scored 42 points in a single game for the Blaze Spikers.

“You know our environment was completely different. In the gym, we’re very focused, very hands on. No messing around and really focused,” she said. “But it’s only the first game; it’s super early.”

“I told the players that as long as Kath is there, she’ll always be able to help us no matter what,” Lontoc said.

Bell finished with 17 points and Remy Palma added 11 to hush questions—for now—on the Blaze Spikers’ ability to defend their crown.

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Elizabeth Vicet Campos finished with 15 points to lead the Lifesavers.

TAGS: Kath Bell, Petron Blaze Spikers, Philippine Superliga Grand Prix, PSL, Sports, Volleyball

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