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Petron blazes to second consecutive PSL AFC title

Thursday, 20 Dec 2018
Lawrence Fernandez - Editor - @lancefernandez
Photo credit: Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

It’s mission accomplished for the Petron Blaze Spikers as they win the PSL All Filipino Conference 2018 title in straight sets over their rival F2 Logistics Cargo Movers. This recent conquest gave the Blaze Spikers their fifth PSL championship in franchise history and a second consecutive All-Filipino title.

Petron edges F2 Logistics in the first set

Both teams fought fiercely in the opening set with no squad mounting a lead bigger than two points. But after Kim Fajardo’s drop shot brought the count to 19-18, Petron sparked a 5-0 run to open a 23-19 gap. Cha Cruz-Behag and Ara Galang connected on consecutive attacks to cut the lead in half. Majoy Baron’s service error brought the Blaze Spikers at set point but Remy Palma had a service error of her own to give the Cargo Movers some life. Mika Reyes’ spike off the block gave the first set to Petron at 25-22.

Blaze Spikers survives the second set

Aiza Maizo-Pontillas was a huge factor in Petron’s 8-4 lead early in the set. But the Cargo Movers bounced back and eventually tied the game at nine. It was a tightly contested set since as both teams did not budge to their rival. A Fajardo service ace made the count 22-20 in favor for F2 but supersub Cherry Ann Rondina responded with a down-the-line attack and a block on Marano to tie the count.

Uncharacteristic errors by liberos Ria Duremdes and Dawn Macandili brought the deadlock to 23. Galang broke the deuce and sent the Cargo Movers to set point with a soft tip but Marano’s service error extended the set. Reyes connected on a service ace off Macandili and Maizo-Pontillas’ spike off the block ended the set to Petron’s favor, 26-24.

Petron blazes to its fifth PSL title

The squad of Coach Shaq delos Santos cruised to a 5-0 lead at the start of the third set but the Cargo Movers tied the tally at six with a four touches error on Maizo-Pontillas. The score remained close at 10-9 before the Blaze Spikers ignited a 4-0 run to establish a 14-9 lead. F2 Logistics made a 4-0 run of their own to trim the lead to one, 14-13. The teams traded points until the tally reached 17-16. However, the Blaze Spikers stepped on the gas pedal to establish a 5-2 run to open a four-point gap, 22-18.

F2 Logistics responded with a 4-1 run to close the deficit at 23-22 but Petron reached championship point with a 1-2 attack by setter Rhea Dimaculangan. However, she made a critical service error to let the Cargo Movers inch closer. A double touch violation on Morente ended the set and the match in favor of Petron, 25-23.

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