MANILA – Petron Blaze Spikers survived a tough stand from Foton Tornadoes before escaping with a 25-23, 24-26, 24-26, 25-22, 19-17 win in the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference over the weekend at the Corpus Christi Gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
Cherry Rondina erupted for 32 points on 27 attacks, four blocks and a service ace while also contributing 20 excellent digs and 10 receptions for the 13-1 Blaze Spikers.
Frances Molina and Mika Reyes had 13 points each. Negrense Bernadeth Pons contributed 12 markers.
The Blaze Spikers sealed the top-seed in the playoffs with the win.
After splitting the first four sets, the Blaze Spikers and Tornadoes went toe-to-toe in the fifth frame with score tied at 13-all. Both teams exchanged opportunities to win it but the game was knotted anew at 17-all.
Rondina broke the final deadlock. She nailed a through-the-block hit, sending the Blaze Spikers to match points before Pons put an end to the match. She unloaded an airborne attack.
“Bilib ako sa puso ng team. Ramdam na namin ‘yung pagod nila pero siyempre sabi ko nga sa kanila ‘wag mag-give up,” said Blaze Spikers head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “Grabeng effort ‘yung ginawa ng Foton at ‘yung eagerness nila na talunin kami.”
Dindin Santiago-Manabat had her best game in years with 31 points off 28 attacks and three rejections. Her sister Jaja Santiago poured in 26 points off 22 attacks for the 7-6 Tornadoes./PN