Blaze Spikers ease out Skippers
MANILA, Philippines — Reigning champion Petron showed winless Marinerang Pilipina the door and moved to the semifinals with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-11 romp at the start of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference playoffs yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Veteran hitter Aiza Maizo-Pontillas churned in 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and an ace while playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan provided 27 excellent sets that came with three bonus points to form a lethal 1-2 combo in the Blaze Spikers’ 12th straight win dating back from the double-round prelims.
Bernadeth Pons (13 markers) and skipper Ces Molina (11) came up with key contributions as Petron arranged a Final Four duel with the winner of Generika-Ayala-Cignal quarters tussle set tomorrow over at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
As the top seed in the prelims with a 13-1 card, the two-time champion Blaze Spikers will enjoy a twice-to-beat bonus in the semis against either foe.
“I just told them that we should not take any team lightly. We should give our 100-percent effort every game regardless of the opponent, and we did just that. However, the job would only get tougher starting in the semis. We have to be ready,” said coach Shaq delos Santos.
“As coach Shaq said there’s no room for complacency. We should stay humble and hungry against any opponent. That’s what we did. We focused against Marinera and now we’re on to the semis. It’s one game at a time,” said Dimaculangan.
Petron was simply dominant versus Marinerang Pilipina, with the Blaze Spikers’ firepower proving too much to handle for the Lady Skippers.