The Petron Blaze Spikers continued its hot start by ending the three-game winning streak of United Volleyball Club in straight sets 25-12, 25-16, 25-20 in the continuation of the PSL Grand Prix 2019 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The squad of Coach Shaq Delos Santos were all out in their target to win the match especially against a young and talented UVC team. Imports Kath Bell and Stephanie Niemer provided the scoring punch while the orchestrating prowless of 2018 PSL All-Filipino Conference MVP Rhea Dimaculangan got the likes of Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Mika Reyes involved to easily take the first two sets.
But come third set, UVC’s Kalei Mau tried to salvage the match as she connected on five straight points before Delos Santos pressed for time. The Blaze Spikers regained their composure to end the set and the match.
With the Blaze Spikers yet to lose a set this conference, Delos Santos is proud of his team’s fine run. “Sobrang nakakaproud kasi ginagawa talaga nila yung best nila pagdating sa game which is sa practice naman nakikita naman namin na mga coaches.” said the Women’s national team mentor.
Niemer led Petron with 18 points followed by birthday girl Bell with 17 markers. Reyes, Maizo-Pontillas, and Remy Palma finished with a combined 22 points. Rhea Dimaculangan finished with three points and outplayed UVC setter Alohi Robins-Hardy as she finished with 36 excellent sets against 24 of the rookie Fil-Hawaiian.
Celebrating her 26th birthday, Bell is named player of the game with 15 attacks and two blocks. When asked about what coach Delos Santos said during his timeout in the deciding set, the former Texas Longhorn shared: “Basically is just to be patient. Take time to break through and kinda catch your breathing. Kalei (Mau) is a great player and once she gets every ball, she makes sure that she will get the kill. You gotta respect her as an attacker and make sure to be disciplined and get our timing to receive.”
As for her birthday plans? “I will be celebrating it with my boyfriend who is in town, some of the imports, and some of the local players this weekend.”
The Petron Blaze Spikers (5-0) will try to continue their hot streak as they go up against the F2 Logistics Cargo Mobers. On the other hand, United Volleyball Club (3-3) will try to end their first round with a win when they clash with against the streaking PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters. Both games will be on March 7 at FilOil.
Petron (3) – Niemer 18, Bell 17, Reyes 10, Palma 6, Maizo-Pontillas 6, Dimaculangan 3, Cortez 2, Pons 1, Molina 0, Lazaro (L), Gaiser (L)
UVC (0) – Bedart-Ghani 13, Mau 11, Ahomiro 3, Manu-Olevao 2, Robins-Hardy 1, Angustia 1, Palec 0, Tejada 0, Tiu 0, Pineda (L)