After suffering their first setback, Petron stormed back with a masterful conquest of Foton, 26-24, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, in the final round of the Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas led the way while Frances Molina, Mina Aganon and Mika Reyes chipped in significant contributions for the Blaze Spikers. They are bracing for an all-out war against Kobe Shinwa Women’s University in the final day of this prestigious women’s club tourney sponsored by Asics, Mikasa, Mueller and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
The Japanese squad clobbered the Tornadoes in four sets late Thursday, and also beat Cignal in straight sets in this battle that also has Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner and UCPB Gen as official insurance provider.
Maizo-Pontillas registered 15 kills while Molina, Aganon and Reyes conspired for 35 points to supply the firepower for Petron who suffered a heart-crushing four-set loss to Cignal also late Thursday.
“We’re so thankful because we won our second game in the final round,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos. “We believe that anything can still happen. We’re facing a strong team tomorrow. We’ll do everything to win over them.”
Meanwhile, Cocolife blew hot and cold before finding its rhythm in the fifth set to overcome Sta. Lucia, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 12-25, 15-11, in the classification battle for 4th to 6th places.
Rose Vargas spearheaded the assault with 18 kills for a game-high 20 points while Michele Gumabao nailed 18 markers for the Asset Managers, who played the Japanese squad in a friendly match in preparation for this important clash.
“Mas nakaganda yung naging tuneup namin sa Japanese team,” said Cocolife coach Obet Javier, the architect of Arellano University’s rise to NCAA women’s volleyball stardom.
“Meron kaming natutunan dun kahapon na dapat pag-whistle ng referee naka-ready ka na for service. Kanina medyo lumabas sa amin yung ganung style, especially sa services ni (Kaye) Daly.”
Javier said they were in control in the deciding set, although there were some minor turbulences in the first few sets.
“Kung makikita natin, medyo in control na kami. Medyo nag-rerelax lang talaga sa una.”
True enough, the Asset Managers were in a rollercoaster in the first four sets, prompting the Lady Realtors to stretch the match to a deciding set.
But the fifth set was a completely different story as the Asset Managers quickly erected a 5-2 deficit before the Lady Realtors knotted the it at 11, thanks to an emphatic kill by Janine Navarro.
It was all Cocolife from there as Vargas shattered the deadlock with an attack off the block before foiling the attempt of Rialen Sante for a 13-11 advantage. An error due to miscommunication between Djanel Cheng and Lourdes Clemente gave the Asset Managers the match point before Vargas delivered an sharp kill to seal the victory.
Ranya Musa had 12 kills and three aces to finish with 15 points while Navarro had 14 markers for Sta. Lucia, which shut down its campaign in the season-opening conference at sixth place following an equally sorry five-set loss to Generika-Ayala Thursday.
Apr 1 Saturday (LAST DAY!)
1pm Cocolife vs Generika-Ayala (classification match)
3pm Cignal vs Foton (Finals delayed telecast 8pm on April 1)
5pm Petron vs Japan Kobe Shinwa University (Finals live on Aksyon and Hyper)
7pm Awarding and Closing Ceremony (Finals live on Aksyon and Hyper)
All games are at the Filoil Flying V Center and live on the sports5.ph and YouTube livestream. Tickets are available at the gate 150/200