The Petron Blaze Spikers looked lethargic early in their match against the Smart Giga Hitters. It looked as if the former core of the Paymaya High Flyers were about to dominate this champion vs. champion catch-up with their quick attacks from the wings.
Enter Cherry Ann Rondina.
The four-time UAAP Beach Volleyball Most Valuable Player was subbed into the game with the tally 10-14 in the first set. Rondina brought her brand of energy into the Petron thrust as they were able to turn things around.
Coach Roger Gorayeb’s squad looked shell-shocked from that point. But they have all the talent and championship experience to turn the tide. They did not.
Suddenly, it was the Giga Hitters’ turn to be in disarray. They cannot find the gaps in the Petron defense and their cohesion on floor defense is lost.
On the other hand, Rondina continued to fuel Petron’s attack with her booming spikes and inspired her teammates to join in the fun. As the Blaze Spikers were playing with much enthusiasm, Rhea Dimaculangan made sure that they get a crack at the Smart defense. They took the second and third sets in convincing fashion: 25-14 and 25-18.
Rondina only had nine attacks to her name. But it is her spark that placed a cherry atop Petron’s third win in as many games. Dimaculangan shared Game MVP honors with 30 excellent sets.
This is a statement win for the Petron Blaze Spikers. But waiting on the horizon are their rival F2 Logistics with an identical 3-0 record. Somebody’s zero has got to go. But Petron is thankful that they can plant Cherry Bomb in the court and let her detonate to devastating effects.