MANILA, Philippines – Imports Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer made rousing debuts as Petron dismissed PLDT Home Fibr, 25-19, 25-9, 25-10, in their first game of the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Bell and Niemer were unstoppable from start to finish, as they towed Petron to an easy win in the tournament.
Bell had 15 points and 10 digs, while Niemer scored 14 points built on 9 spikes, 3 aces, and 2 blocks. The Blaze Spikers needed just an hour and 26 minutes to complete the win.
Mika Reyes added 7 points, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Remy Palma each had 6 markers for Petron. Newly acquired libero Denden Lazaro had 10 digs in her debut for the club.
"We struggled in the first set," admitted Petron head coach Shaq delos Santos. "Maybe because it's just our first game."
"The players, especially the imports, were too excited. I told them to relax, take a deep breath, and focus," he added. "Good thing, we were able to recover."
The Blaze Spikers got off to a slow start, trailing by six points, 5-11, in the first set.
They managed to trim the deficit to one point, 18-19, then unleashed seven straight markers to complete the come-from-behind win.
The defending champions dominated from there, with Bell and Niemer powering them to a 19-7 lead in the second set, and a 17-5 lead in the third.
Import Grace Lazard was the lone bright spot for PLDT, with 14 points. Her fellow reinforcement, Kendra Dahlke, only scored four markers.
PLDT committed 24 errors in the game.
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