The PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters came into their match against the Petron Blaze Spikers with a three-game winning streak. However, the defending PSL Grand Prix champions made it look easy as they remain undefeated after a straight-sets victory, 25-18, 25-21, 25-14, in their second round match-up at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Blaze Spikers started strong in the first set courtesy of their imports Stephanie Niemer and Katherine Bell. But PLDT did not give up easily as Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke led a 6-0 run to trim the lead to four, 22-18. However, Coach Shaq Delos Santos’ squad clinched the next three points to end the opening chapter.
The second set featured a scoring duel between Dahlke and Niemer. Eventually, Bell provided the finishing touches to deliver a second straight set for the Blaze Spikers.
In set three, Bell and Niemer pounded the Power Hitters after the second technical timeout while Remy Palma contributed timely scores to seal a tenth straight victory for Petron. The Blaze Spikers’ reinforcements combined for 38 points while PSL All-Filipino Conference 2018 MVP Rhea Dimaculangan was named player with the game with three points and 31 excellent sets.
“Ang ginawa lang naman namin is magkarga ng service namin para magkaroon ng mis-receive. And then, kapag may chance kami na magawa yun play namin, go naman kami,” Dimaculangan said.
Despite their dominating run, Dimaculangan shared that the Blaze Spikers are still not taking practice lightly. “Nandun pa din yun mindset namin na bawal kami mag-relax and then every training kailangan mas paghirapan namin. Nandun pa din naman yun goal namin na sana makuha namin basta tuloy-tuloy lang yun magandang communication namin and yun bonding namin medyo nandun na rin.”
Dahlke led the Power Hitters with 16 points. However, Lazard only had eight and Aiko Urdas had a sub-par performance with four markers
The Blaze Spikers (10-0) will try to extend their unblemished run against rivals F2 Logistics Cargo Movers (7-2) on March 23. Meanwhile, the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters (6-5) will try to bounce back versus the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors (2-6) on March 21. Both games will be at Filoil.
Petron (3) – Niemer 21, Bell 19, Palma 4, Reyes 4, Maizo-Pontillas 4, Dimaculangan 3, Pons 1, Molina 0, Cortez 0, Lazaro (L), Gaiser (L)
PLDT (0) – Dahlke 16, Lazard 8, Urdas 4, Devanadera 3, Nabor 2, Alvarez 1, Sta. Rita 0, Soltones 0, Latigay 0, Guillerma 0, Pantone (L), Eroa (L)