MANILA – Petron Blaze Spikers recovered from a set down to beat arch-rivals F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, 23-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-18, in the the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Thursday night at San Juan Arena.
Katherine Bell top-scored with season-high 31 points, on 26 attacks, four blocks, and a service ace, while Stephanie Niemer added 22 markers, on 14 attack, six service aces and two blocks, for the defending champion Blaze Spikers (6-0).
The Blaze Spikers seemed headed to a first set victory after forcing a 22-all deadlock on attacks from Bell. After back-to-back errors from Bell, the Blaze Spikers had a chance to extend the set but Aiza Maizo-Pontillas gave away a service error.
Petron woke up in the second set as it pounded F2 Logistics with attacks from Bell and Niemer. Same goes for the defending champions in the third frame with the two import conniving on offense to turn back the Cargo Movers.
“Siyempre, happy kasi na test namin ‘yung team namin. Siyempre isa sa mga malalakas na team sa PSL ‘yung F2 Logistics,” said Blaze Spikers head coach Ceseal Delos Santos.
Lindsay Stalzer, who played for the Blaze Spikers last year, spearheaded the attack for the short-handed Cargo Movers with 21 points. Her fellow reinforcement, Becky Perry added 12 markers.
Meanwhile, Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani and Tai Manu Olevao were simply impressive as they towed United VC to a 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 25-17 win over PLDT Home Fibr to finish the first round on a high note.
Bedart-Ghani had 20 points while Olevao added 15 kills, two aces and two blocks to finish with 19 points and 10 excellent receptions for UVC. Imports Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke were the lone bright spots with 17 points apiece for PLDT./PN