Sunday, March 19, 2017

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MANILA – Aiza Maizo-Pontillas finally stepped up for the Petron Blaze Spikers as they scored a 25-12, 25-10, 25-23 win over the Foton Tornadoes in the 2017 Belo-Philippine Superliga Invitational on Thursday at the San Juan Arena.

The Passi, Iloilo-native Maizo-Pontillas finished with 10 attacks and a block for a game-high 11 points to lead the Blaze Spikers, which remained unbeaten after tallying its fourth straight victory.

Carmina Aganon chipped in eight numbers, including some clutch conversions, for the Blaze Spikers, which went on a massive retooling during the off-season that brought them Mika Reyes, Carmela Tunay and Rhea Dimaculangan.

The Blaze Spikers are now safely in the next round where it will be joined by two other teams together with a guest squad from Japan. Semifinal action unwraps on March 30.

“We were expecting that the game will be close,” said Blaze Spikers head coach Ceseal Delos Santos. “Good thing the girls followed the game plan and we made it to the semifinals. We’re preparing for it. I hope everybody will step up.”

The Blaze Spikers, which finished runner-up to the Tornadoes in the 2016 Grand Prix, displayed its fluidity on offense to quickly take the first two sets before suffering some minor trouble in the third round.

But after being down, 22-23, Aganon delivered a crisp kill from the open position while Tornadoes rookie Gretchel Soltones’ attack went wide, giving the Blaze Spikers the match point.


Soltones, a three-time NCAA MVP awardee, top-scored with seven points while Yumi Yongco had five markers for the Tornadoes, which suffered their second setback in four matches./PN


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