Is Petron already in full force?

Friday, 03 Nov 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad
Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

On paper, Petron is the strongest team.

In their past three matches in the ongoing Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga, the Blaze Spikers displayed a glimpse of their championship poise.

They clobbered Generika-Ayala in straight sets and crushed Sta. Lucia Realty and Cignal in four with imports Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer wrecking havoc at the attack zone.

Their local crew is also explosive.

Mika Reyes and Remy Palma often starts at the middle blocker spot with Marivic Meneses as their reliever. National team member Aiza Maizo-Pontillas is also steady at the opposite while Rhea Dimaculangan gets the lion’s share of the minutes at the setter position with April Ross Hingpit as her backup.

True enough, Petron is a dream team.

But for head coach Shaq Delos Santos, they are still a work in progress.

“We still have a lot of things to work on.”

“This is probably the toughest conference so we always have to be at our best and learn to adjust to our opponent. Kapag nag-relax ka, alam mo na kung saan ka pupulutin.”

Service target

Delos Santos said one of the waterloos they have to address is their service.

Sure, they bombed the HD Spikers from the service box with 10 aces in their 19-25, 25-9, 25-22, 28-26 win last week, but Delos Santos is still far from satisfied as the HD Spikers floor defenders managed to execute brilliant plays out of the first ball.

“We need to improve our service target.”

Delos Santos said they would test their services against F2 Logistics’ army of receivers bannered by Dawn Macandili – the 2nd Best Libero in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship – when they clash this Saturday at the University of St. La Salle gym in Bacolod City.

He said the Cargo Movers will be a tough nut to crack due to its chemistry and firepower, but they are more than willing to go the extra mile and be two steps ahead of them from start to finish.

“You can’t go to war without a plan. You need to have a plan.”

“That’s why we’re studying every player and every team. You have to know their reaction and tendencies, especially under pressure. You have to use that to your advantage and convert it into a victory.”

Delos Santos vowed to polish their lapses and be a better team that they used to be.

And if that happens, the Blaze Spikers would easily turn from good to great.

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