Another PSL Finals series, another Petron-F2 showdown.
Both the Petron Blaze Spikers and the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers made sure that the Cignal HD Spikers and the Generika Ayala Lifesavers will not force a do-or-die semifinal game. F2 Logistics ended the Lifesavers’ campaign with a five-setter while Petron continues to stamp their dominance with a straight-sets win over Cignal.
The PSL All Filipino Conference 2018 Finals will be the fifth straight championship match-up between these rival teams. The first four titles are equally divided among F2 Logistics and Petron but the Blaze Spikers are coming in as the defending AFC champions. However, F2 Logistics is the PSL’s most recent title-holder after claiming the 2018 Invitational crown.
Cargo Movers brought the block party to defeat Generika Ayala
How fitting is it that F2 Logistics clinched another Finals berth with a single block by Majoy Baron? Defense has been the prevailing them of this semifinal game and the Cargo Movers just did a little bit more especially in the deciding fifth set.
Nothing to take away from the Lifesavers though for their floor defense was splendid especially in the first and fourth sets. They were right there with F2 as shown by their 87 excellent digs as compared to the Cargo Movers’ 89. But Generika Ayala had the edge in service receptions, 38-30. Once again, Kath Arado rose to the occasion with a 66.6% dig success rate (32/48) to go with 16 of 27 service receptions. Performances like this strengthens her case as this conference’s Best Libero.
However, F2 knew how to embace winning time while the Lifesavers look rattled in the end game. Two of the five points that Generika Ayala tallied came from F2’s errors which means that they only produced three markers. On the other hand, the confidence of Coach Ramil De Jesus’ squad grew with each spike they converted and each Generika attack that they’ve stopped.
In the end, F2 Logistics’ 16-5 advantage in kill blocks proved to be the glaring reason for their victory. Baron had five blocks alone which matches Generika Ayala’s total. Even Kim Fajardo got three blocks of her own which is uncharacteristic for a setter. Their ability to dominate the net will come in handy against a Petron Blaze Spikers squad that has a platoon of scoring options.
Aby Marano and Ara Galang were hailed as Players of the Game. Marano had 13 attacks, two blocks, and an ace while Galang tallied 14 spike points and a service ace. Cha Cruz-Behag topped the Cargo Movers in scoring with 17 while Baron and Michelle Morente had 12 points apiece. Fajardo chipped in seven while Fritz Joy Gallenero made a single point. Angeli Araneta and Patty Orendain led Generika-Ayala with 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Petron blazes through Cignal HD to book another Finals stint
Petron’s keeps their hopes of an undefeated conference alive with a straight-sets win over the Cignal HD Spikers. They have now won 11 straight games and have dropped only three sets in the process. It’s fascinating how they made it look easy en route to dominating every category on the stat sheet. The Blaze Spikers were also efficient in sealing the victory with only 13 errors as compared to Cignal HD’s 22.
The HD Spikers had a legitimate chance to take the first two sets only to falter at the end of both. Then, Petron just stepped on the gas pedal to close the game in the third set. Cignal team captain Rachel Anne Daquis carried the team mightily to tally 18 points. However, she did not have much help on the offensive side as Roselyn Doria is their second-highest scorer with seven while PSL leading scorer Mylene Paat had a quiet outing with only five markers.
Meanwhile, Bernadeth Pons stamped her mark by leading the Blaze Spikers with 14 points and making nine excellent receptions. Mika Reyes and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas were in support with nine scores each. Petron was also able to steal a number of points from Cignal HD with their 73 excellent digs, 32 of which were equally split by Ria Duremdes and team captain Ces Molina.