Red-hot Petron shut down the first round with a bang as it crushed Cignal, 25-15, 2519, 25-14, in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Saturday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.
With American import Stephanie Niemer catching fire, the Blaze Spikers had a strong start and a stronger finish en route to a convincing win in this prestigious women’s club league broadcasted by ESPN5 and 5Plus.
Niemer, who is hunting her first PSL crown, unloaded 18 kills, one block and four aces to finish with a game-high 23 points for the Blaze Spikers, who finished the first round of the preliminaries with a perfect 7-0 win-loss mark.
Kath Bell was also impressive delivering 19 points while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Remy Palma had five points apiece for Petron which got the job done in just 66 minutes of action.
“I think we did a good job, but it doesn’t end here” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos who was given fresh appointment as head coach of the national women’s volleyball team.
“It’s a good thing if we can maintain our winning streak. But we still have to step up if we want to remain undefeated in this very tough tourney.”
Delos Santos said with Niemer and Bell doing a marvelous job, the locals had an easy time stepping up especially when the going gets tough.
“I’m really proud of our imports, they’re very dedicated and very professional,” said Delos Santos following this battle that also has Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project as technical sponsors.
“Kath is actually playing despite having a flu. I was expecting her not to play but she still gave her best.”
Erica Wilson was the lone bright spot as she delivered 13 points for the HD Spikers who finished the first round with a 4-3 win-loss slate.
The Blaze Spikers will start their second round campaign when they battle struggling Foton on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Meanwhile, F2 Logistics completed its recovery from a sorry loss as it crushed PLDT, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19, in the second game.
Lindsay Stalzer was back in her old self as she notched 19 points while Becky Perry added 12 markers for the Cargo Movers whose five-game run was halted by a four-set loss to Petron late Thursday.
F2 Logistics ended the first round with a 6-1 win-loss mark, one game behind the Blaze Spikers who made short work of Cignal in the first match.
Grace Lazard had 14 attacks to finish with 16 points for PLDT, which dropped to 3-4.
Mar 12 @FilOilSanJuan
Tix at gate or SM Tickets P150
2pm Generika-Ayala v PLDT
415pm Petron v Foton
7pm Sta Lucia v Cignal HD