Ria Meneses of Generika-Ayala slams the ball hard over Mic Laborte of Sta Lucia in their Superliga battle for fifth last night at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
Petron, F2 blitz foes, duel for SLiga jewel
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Petron and F2 Logistics forged another explosive titular showdown as they dismantled their respective semis rivals in straight sets to reach the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference finale last night at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.

The Blaze Spikers threw their weight around Smart-Army, 25-12, 25-15, 25-17, while the Cargo Movers dethroned holder Cignal via a masterful 25-22, 25-15, 25-19 verdict as the fancied sides meet again after contesting the preceding Grand Prix Conference.

They begin their best-of-three battle for the midseason conference crown on Thursday with Petron aiming for a followup to its 2-1 conquest of F2 in the Grand Prix.

The Blaze Spikers came out charging and dominated the Giga Hitters in every aspect of the game – 42-25 in attacks, 8-2 in blocks, and 7-1 in aces – to seal their fifth straight finals appearance.

“Talagang nagfocus kami sa training sa mga kailangan naming gawin. Very unpredictable ang kalaban so talagang winork out namin yung mga kaya naming ayusin sa training (We really had to prepare how to counter our opponent since they are very unpredictable and we executed them well),” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos.

Playing against her UST  teammates who beef up the Army veterans, Sisi Rondina punched in nine points to share scoring honors with former Tigress Aiza Maizo Pontillas and lead Petron to victory.

Petron took leads of 19-8 in the first and 21-14 in the second then clawed back from a 10-12 deficit to finish off its foes and take its expected spot in the Last-Dance.

For its part, F2 turned to its effective blocking and serving game to nose out the HD Spikers. The Cargo Movers had 11 blocks against Cignal’s 5 and had six more points on the service line with 10 with all players fielded in contributing on points led by Ara Galang’s 12. 

Rachel Ann Daquis topscored with 10 for the HD Spikers, who will face the Giga Hitters in the bronze medal match.

Meanwhile, Generika-Ayala clinched fifth place after scoring a 25-10, 24-26, 25-10, 25-18 win over Sta. Lucia.

Patty Orendain sizzled with 23 points while April Ross Hingpit delivered 43 excellent sets.

to go with seven markers as the Lifesavers ended their campaign on a bright note after their painful three-set loss to Smart-Army in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

“Actually mabigat ang  pagkatalo namin sa Smart, sabi ko sa kanila hindi na kayo bata, kailangan matanggap niyo yan kasi hindi naman yan collegiate lang, karamihan diyan may experience na so move on the lang, bawi na lang (It was really a painful loss to Smart Army but I told them you’re mature enough to take the result and realize the opponents also have experienced players so we must move on and bounce back),’ said coach Sherwin Meneses.

Ceballos complemented her team-high score with 20 digs and nine excellent receptions to help libero Kat Arado (19 digs, nine receptions) on defense.

Jonah Sabete and Pam Lastimosa accounted for 10 and nine, respectively for SLR, which missed MJ Philips due to minor shoulder tear.

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