Petron Blaze Spikers trashes Cignal HD Spikers in straight sets

The Petron Blaze Spikers relied on their high-octane scoring in dominating the Cignal HD Spikers in straight sets 25-10, 25-7, 25-19 in their PSL Grand Prix 2019 second round match at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan, Laguna

The Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer show had another episode in the opening set as the gave the Cignal defense a lot of headaches. Mika Reyes’ three aces clinched set one for the undefeated Blaze Spikers.

Cignal looked to have bounced back in the second set. But after the first technical timeout, Petron blazed on a monumental 17-1 run led by Bell, Niemer, Remy Palma, and Rhea Dimaculangan.

Niemer dominated the third set as she continued her scoring and spiking. Dimaculangan’s setting also made sure that Bell and Reyes settled the game in three sets even though the HD Spikers made one last push to possibly extend the match to a fourth set.

The service area was Petron’s best friend today as the Blaze Spikers made 16 service aces which is the most tallied by any PSL team in a game. Out of that total, Palma had five while Reyes and Dimaculangan had four apiece. Petron also dominated in blocks (7-4) and attack points (39-19). Coach Shaq Delos Santos’ squad also had three less errors than Cignal’s 13. It only took the defending champions 59 minutes to finish the game with Niemer leading in scoring with 19 points followed by Bell with 17. The triumvirate of Palma, Reyes and Maizo-Pontillas finished with a combine output of 21 points.

Dimaculangan, last year’s PSL All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player, was named game MVP with four points and 17 excellent sets. When asked how they keep themselves motivated in their unbeaten run, the former UST Golden Tigress responded, “Iniisip lang namin every training, kailangan mas paghirapan namin and kapag nasa game kami dapat yun galaw namin hindi kami magiging complacent sa lahat. Nandun pa din yun focus namin and yun goal namin na sana makuha namin kaya mas pinaghihirapan pa namin.”

She also gave props to their team’s dynamic imports Bell and Niemer. “Sobrang nakakatuwa and parang excited kami palagi every time na sila yun pumapalo. Tsaka nandiyan kasi sila para i-motivate kami. Kumbaga parang nahihila din nila kami kaya mas nai-inspire kami na maglaro ng mas maganda.”

The HD Spikers, who have now dropped to number four in the standings with the loss, had no player scoring in double figures as their import Erica Wilson was well defended by the Blaze Spikers and for that held her to her lowest output of the season of 7 points. Anastasia Artemeva also had a subpar game of only 4 points.

Winning 27 of 28 sets played, the Petron Blaze Spikers (9-0) will look to continue its unblemished run when they take on the surging PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters. Meanwhile, the Cignal HD Spikers (5-5) are looking to end their slump when they face a tough challenge from the United Volleyball Club. Both games will be played on March 19 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Scores

Petron (3) – Niemer 19, Bell 17, Palma 8, Reyes 7, Maizo-Pontillas 6, Dimaculangan 4, Tunay 1, Pons 0, Esguerra 0, Legacion 0, Cortez 0, Lazaro (L), Gaiser (L)

Cignal HD (0) – Wilson 7, Paat 5, Daquis 5, Artemeva 4, Salamagos 2, Musa 2, Navarro 1, Vivas 0, Aguilar 0, Masangkay 0, Dionela (L), Amutan (L)

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