The Petron Blaze Spikers have yet to drop a set in the 2019 PSL Grand Prix. This doesn’t mean though that they were not tested by the Generika Ayala Lifesavers during their encounter at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Blaze Spikers held a 21-13 lead in the first set when the Lifesavers scored three unanswered points to trim the lead to five, 21-16. However, the wards of Coach Shaq Delos Santos closed the set at 25-16 by scoring four straight points of their own. A service ace by Remy Palma gave Petron set point while a thunderous kill from the back row by import Katherine Bell ended the set.
The defending PSL Grand Prix champions owned a 23-19 lead in the second set before the Sherwin Meneses-coached unit tied the count at 23 courtesy of consecutive kill blocks by Kseniya Kocyigit and Angeli Araneta. But another successful back line hit by Bell and a double touch infraction by April Ross Hingpit handed set two to Petron, 25-23.
In set three, the Blaze Spikers blasted a 7-1 run from an 11-11 deadlock and essentially declared game over. Bell’s service ace brought Petron to match point but Fiola Ceballos converted an attack to extend the set. However, Bernadeth Pons ended the set and the match for Petron at 25-15.
Stephanie Niemer is declared Player of the Game with 19 attack points, two kill blocks, and three service aces. Team captain Bell contributed 18 spikes, one block, and two aces. The Blaze Spikers imposed their will over the Lifesavers in attacks (48-32), blocks (8-4), and service aces (8-1).
The Petron Blaze Spikers will fight for a 3-0 record against the Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy on February 23 at 7 pm. Meanwhile, the Generika Ayala Lifesavers will target their first win against the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters on the same day at 4:15 pm. Both games will be played at the Bacoor Strike Gym in Cavite.
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