Ace up on Petron’s sleeve

If the previous battle between Petron and F2 Logistics was a championship match, there’s a player who deserves to bring home the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award – Mika Reyes.

Reyes, the national team captain, displayed her defensive prowess when she powered the Blaze Spikers to a nail-biting five-set victory over the Cargo Movers in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

She wasn’t the top scorer, but she made her presence felt on the defensive end as she nailed three blocks to finish with six points for the souped-up Petron side that launched a massive overhaul in the off-season.

Her brightest moment came in the final play when she thwarted an attack by Desiree Cheng to silence the Cargo Movers’ rally and seal the victory for the Blaze Spikers.

Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos said Reyes’ served as their biggest advantage against the Cargo Movers.

He added that aside from her energy and defensive intensity, Reyes’ deep familiarity with the system of Ramil de Jesus makes it easier for them to overcome the Cargo Movers.

[quote]“Good thing that one of their key players is now on our team.”[/quote]

[quote]“She knows how they play so our preparation against them got a little bit easier.”[/quote]

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New challenge

Those in the know claim that de Jesus is maintaining a tight-knit family at De La Salle University.

That’s why it came as a major surprise when the 22-year old Reyes moved to Petron after winning three titles with the Lady Spikers in the UAAP and another one with the Cargo Movers in last year’s All-Filipino Conference.

Reyes said leaving de Jesus and his friends is such a “tough decision,” but she has to move on to find a new challenge.

She became the fifth high-profile player to bolt out of de Jesus’ squad after Michele Gumabao and Melissa Gohing joined Philips Gold, Aby Marano connived with Petron and Paneng Mercado packed her bags for Cignal.

Marano, however, returned to de Jesus’ side last year via F2 Logistics.

[quote]“It was a tough decision, but Petron made it easier as we laid out concrete plans for my personal and volleyball career as well.”[/quote]

Against F2 Logistics – her former team – last Thursday, Reyes showed that she has blossomed into a star.

She stood her ground on defense and sealed the victory with a booming block.

If Petron and F2 Logistics will lock horns in the finals, the Blaze Spikers will surely have a major advantage.

And as Delos Santos said: It’s a good thing that Mika is now on our side.