Petron got off to a sluggish start but rediscovered its flair time to turn back Foton on Saturday afternoon 14-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-7 and gain added momentum going to the final round of the 2016 PSL Invitational women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
After the Toplander took the opening set, the Tri-Activ Spikers charged back starting in the 2nd frame and pounced heavily on the absence of Foton libero Angeli Tabaquero who re-injured her right shoulder midway in the 3rd to complete the come-from-behind victory in one hour and 43 minutes.
“Diesel pa rin talaga,” said Petron coach George Pascua of his charges’ slow start. “Nakakatakot talaga sa amin ‘yung first set. First time rin namin sila nakalaban kaya ‘yung first set basahan pa lang ‘yun. Kumbaga tinatantsa-tantsa pa muna nila. Kapag nakapag-adjust na tapos nakuha ‘yung composure at tempo ng laro, tuluy-tuloy na.”
Opposite hitter Aiza Maizo-Pontillas waxed hot anew with 20 points, 19 of them off kills, while Bang Pineda scored 9 of her 13 markers off booming spikes and Maica Morada added 11 for Petron, which notched its 5th win in 6 tries in this inter-club tourney.
Foton, the Grand Prix champion last year, bowed out of the tourney with its 5th loss in 6 matches.
Patty Jane Orendain was the lone Toplander to score in double-figures with 12 points, all from attacks, as her teammates struggled to recover from the loss of Tabaquero, who re-injured her shoulder while sliding after going for a dig against Tri-Activ Spiker Cherry Nunag’s quick hit at the middle, with Foton protecting a slim 13-12 lead.
Tabaquero was stretchered off the floor and was immediately taken to the nearest hospital for the necessary X-ray tests.
That big development started to turn the tide in favor of the Tri-Activ Spikers, who broke away from a 15-all, took a quick 24-17 lead and finished the set behind Maizo’s kill from the opposite area.
Petron, smelling blood, went for the kill in the 4th as Foton fell into a maze of errors and hardly gave the Tri-Activ Spikers any kind of tough resistance. — By Jerome Lagunzad