Reigning champion Petron flirted with disaster before overcoming gutsy Cignal, 25-20, 18-25, 25-16, 16-25, 16-14, in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference yesterday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.
Frances Molina came through with clutch hits to tow the Blaze Spikers to a heart-stopping victory in this in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport.
Molina delivered 21 kills to finish with 25 points for the Blaze Spikers, who tightened their hold of the second spot with a 3-1 win-loss mark.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas had an all-around game of 11 markers, 24 digs and 11 excellent receptions for the Blaze Spikers, while Toni Rose Basas added 10.
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos lauded the composure of his wards, saying that they really want to get the victory following their sorry four-set loss to unbeaten leader F2 Logistics late Thursday.
“Coming off a loss is just as hard and we can’t afford to lose back-to-back games if we want to build momentum early on the conference,” said Delos Santos, who is also the mentor of the national team headed for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“It’s a good wake up call for us, see what we need to work on, try to adjust to situations thrown at us and to remind ourselves that a three-peat won’t be given to us on a silver platter.”
Tied at 11 in the fifth set, Cignal looked to dispose Petron when it took a two-point cushion, 13-11, before reaching match point, 14-12.
But the battle-scared Blaze Spikers, who’s looking to cop their third consecutive All-Filipino title, romped with a 4-0 blast behind the hot smashes of Molina to frustrate the HD Spikers.
“It was a hard-earned win for us today, Cignal pushed us to the limit,” said delos Santos. “But I’m happy that my team held on tight and didn’t crumble.”
Team captain Rachel Anne Daquis finished with 17 points.