Petron ousts Smart to book PSL finals return
MANILA, Philiipines – Petron made a short work of Smart-Army, 25-12, 25-15, 25-17, to advance to the finals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference on Saturday, July 21, at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.
The Blaze Spikers – who marched into the title round for the 5th straight time since the 2016 Grand Prix – will face the winner of F2 Logistics and Cignal in a best-of-3 championship starting Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Sisi Rondina and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas led the assault with 9 points apiece while Ces Molina and Mika Reyes chipped in 8 and 7 hits, respectively.
“It was an unpredictable match-up for us. So we focused on our team, our strengths and good thing we executed it well,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos of the Blaza Spikers, who are vying for a second straight title this season.
It took only 70 minutes for Petron to dispatch Smart-Army, winning the first two sets easily and pulled away with a 20-14 lead from 7 straight points before Rondina nailed 4 of their last 5 points.
Dimdim Pacres was the lone bright spot as she finished with 7 points for Smart-Army, which was relegated to the battle for bronze medal against the loser in the other semifinal pairing.
Lifesavers finish 5th
Earlier, Generika-Ayala ended its campaign on a high note as it prevailed over Sta. Lucia, 25-10, 24-26, 25-10, 25-18, to finish 5th place.
Patty Orendain delivered the major blows for the Lifesavers, who bounced back from a heart-crushing loss to Smart-Army in the quarterfinals of the prestigious volleyball club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, UCPB Gen and SOGO Hotel with ESPN5, Hyper HD and Aksyon TV as broadcast partners.
Orendain finished with 23 points while Angeli Araneta tallied 14 hits for Generika-Ayala, which started the conference on fire with a 3-1 win-loss card before falling prey to the experienced Giga Hitters in the playoffs.
Fiola Ceballos also had an impressive performance with 13 markers, 20 digs and 9 excellent receptions while libero Kat Arado protected the floor with 19 digs and nine receptions.
“Actually, our lost in the quarterfinals really hurt us. But I told my players that we cannot deal with that forever, we have to accept it and move on,” said Generika-Ayala head coach Sherwin Meneses after bagging the consolation in this tourney that also has Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
“So I told them that if we will not play well today we will fail to bounce back from that loss because our goal here is to keep on improving our record.”
The Lifesavers lost the second set committing two crucial errors that allowed the Lady Realtors to tie the match one-set apiece.
But they managed to get their acts together and recovered in the 3rd set with another 15-point rout for a 2-1 set lead.
Generika-Ayala pulled away in the 4th set with a 19-13 lead, but Sta. Lucia hung within striking distance, 20-15, before Orendain hit 4 of their last 5 points to seal the win.
It was a sorry loss for the Lady Realtors, who finished 3rd in Pool B with a 3-3 mark before losing to mighty F2 Logistics in the quarterfinals.
National pool member MJ Philips was on the sidelines with a minor shoulder tear, prompting Jonah Sabete and Pam Lastimosa to step up with 10 and nine markers, respectively. – Rappler.com