They took the long road, but it’s definitely worth the walk.
Stephanie Niemer first came to Petron in 2016 powering the squad with her incredible skill set laced with humble on-court and off-court attitude. But the 29-year old hitter’s prowess wasn’t enough to steer the Blaze Spikers past a more complete Foton squad led by Lindsay Stalzer, Ariel Usher and the Santiago sisters.
Meanwhile, Denden Lazaro debuted in the prestigious league with Cocolife in 2017. The Asset Managers have had their fair share of glory, even finishing fourth twice, but a title finish has been elusive for the team.
Three years later, they found each other playing side by side for Petron – and together, they completed their quest for gold.
After years of trying, the two talented players finally hoisted a Philippine Superliga (PSL) championship trophy as Petron won the PSL Grand Prix 2019 over the F2 Logistics in the winner-takes-all Game 3 of the Finals yesterday.
Both played instrumental roles for the newly-crowned back-to-back Grand Prix champions.
Paired up with equally powerful Katherine Bell, Niemer has been carrying the scoring load for the Blaze Spikers since day one, eventually emerging as the Best Scorer of the tournament.
On her final show this year, the eventual MVP connected 28-out-of-68 kills, a couple of blocks and an ace for a game-high 31-point effort.
Meanwhile, Lazaro protected Petron’s floor from the powerful attacks of F2’s Stalzer and MJ Perez as she amassed 17 excellent digs.
She also led her squad in reception, registering 17 excellent receive off 32 tries for a 53.23 percent efficiency.
With their efforts, the Blaze Spikers eke out a 26-24, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19 victory over their bitter foes.
(Image from PSL)