Lone ranger no more

Stephanie Niemer finally got the support she badly needed in Petron’s overwhelming five-set win over F2 Logistics in the semifinals of the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix over the weekend in Legazpi City.

It was a total team effort.

Although Niemer erupted for 30 kills, six aces and a block on top of 22 excellent receptions, it was still a complete team effort as Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Serena Warner, Frances Molina and the rest of the Tri-Activ Spikers stepped up to make it to the best-of-three finals starting this Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Maizo-Pontillas finished with 15 points while Warner and Molina chipped in 12 markers apiece for the Tri-Activ Spikers, who also drew significant performance from playmaker April Ross Hingpit and blockers Cherry Nunag and CJ Rosario.

Niemer said the key to their victory wasn’t her explosion.

It was the performance of her teammates.

[quote]We were a great team. The most important word is ‘team’ because everybody contributed and did their jobs. We supported and carried each other to come up with this victory.[/quote]

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Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos said the key to winning the key to winning the crown is their unpredictability.

In the semis, Hingpit did her best coming up with set plays for Niemer, Maizo-Pontillas and Molina that kept the Cargo Movers guessing, especially in the fourth set where they wage a blistering rally.

On the other hand, Rosario, Nunag and Niemer were also impressive as they worked hard at the defensive end to frustrate import Hayley Spelman as well as other attackers like Ara Galang and Cha Cruz.

[quote]The rest of the team stepped up that made us unpredictable. If we want to win against Foton, we have to do our best to be unpredictable. We have to stop relying on Steph too much and work on our own.[/quote]

Against F2 Logistics, Niemer started cold, allowing the locals to do damage in the first three sets.

[quote]I started out really slow. I did not wake up until the fourth and fifth sets and that’s when my team came in. They worked hard and supported me when I was down in the fourth and fifth sets so I just returned the favor to them.[/quote]

She added that if they will play the same way against F2 Logistics, winning the crown will be possible.

[quote]They challenged us. We should not lose that fire, that hunger to win.[/quote]

Yes, it wasn’t a one-man show for Petron in the semis.

And in the finals, the entire team is expected to show up.

One team. One mission.