Coming off a long break, Petron shook off a rusty start before getting back to their usual lethal form to demolish Cignal in four sets and take the lead in the best-of-three semifinals of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix 2019 on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Fresh from a 16-day break, the Blaze Spikers have had to overcame a tiny glitch in their immaculate system to chalk a 20-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25-18 victory over the HD Spikers and step closer to a Finals return.
“Unfortunately, that’s just like what’s been happening. After we come from a long break, we kinda take that first set to take our groove back and I think that’s what happened tonight,” said Stephanie Niemer as the Blaze Spikers just absorbed their first set loss since March 7 when F2 Logistics dragged them in four sets during their round one encounter.
Now on a 16-game win streak, it was also Petron’s only second set loss this whole conference, where they are still unblemished in their title defense campaign.
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“Credits to Cignal, though. They came out blazing. They’ve had great shots that we didn’t see in the first two times. We adjusted but I though they really played well tonight, but we adjusted and got back to our normal selves,” added Niemer, who uncorked 19 attacks, three aces and a block for 23 points for the defending champs.
Unlike their preliminary round encounters where they are crushed both in straight sets, Cignal showed more intensity with their attacks which stunned Petron.
The Blaze Spikers then made key adjustment on their defense in the next three sets to tame HD Spikers’ power hitter Erica Wilson and drew first blood in the playoffs.
Petron looks to seal the deal while Cignal hopes to force Game 3 on Thursday.
(Image from Facebook/Philippine Superliga)