MANILA, Philippines – Petron became the first team to defeat F2 Logistics in the 2019 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference, and the Blaze Spikers did so in impressive fashion.
Displaying tremendous heart and fighting spirit, Petron clawed its way back from a two-set deficit before seizing a 26-28, 27-29, 25-19, 25-20, 15-6 triumph over the Cargo Movers, Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The hard-earned win allowed Petron to snap F2 Logistics' 11-game unbeaten run in the tournament.
The Blaze Spikers were on the brink of getting swept, as F2 Logistics took the first two sets in extended fashion. But Petron did not waver, forcing the match to a deciding set to wrap up the classic showdown in two hours and 41 minutes.
"When we went down, of course we were disappointed," said Petron head coach Shaq delos Santos. "But in both sets, we're just short of two points."
"But I told them not to give up and take it one set at a time," the coach added.
It was Sisi Rondina who led the comeback for Petron, as she caught fire in the third set before teaming up with Bernadeth Pons in the fourth set to force the deciding frame.
The defending champions then waxed hot in the fifth set, with Rhea Dimaculangan's fine playmaking allowing the Blaze Spikers to race to a 10-0 advantage. F2 Logistics also shot itself in the foot, committing four straight unforced errors to give Petron free points.
"The momentum was already on our side. I just told them to give their 100 percent and worked hard for every point because the fifth set is just 1-15," said delos Santos.
Kalei Mau kept F2 Logistics afloat, scoring three of the team's six points in the frame. But Pons scored an off-the-block hit to finally deal the Cargo Movers their first defeat in 12 games.
Rondina, who missed the first round of the rivalry battle, unleashed 22 points off 21 kills. Molina had 20 points, while Bernadeth Pons put up 16 points on top of 22 digs.
Mika Reyes was also instrumental with 10 markers. Dimaculangan dished out 32 excellent sets on top of four markers, while Denden Lazaro was tremendous defensively with 29 digs.
Petron is now at solo first place with its 12-1 win-loss record. This was also their 10th straight win.
Mau had 25 points laced with 22 digs and 10 excellent receptions, while Majoy Baron delivered 15 points and Ara Galang had 14 markers, including 12 receives as F2 Logistics slid to No. 2 in the rankings.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.