Petron and Cignal will be swinging for the fences when they clash anew in the do-or-die semifinals today, aiming for the remaining Finals ticket of the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019.
The Blaze Spikers and the HD Spikers are tipped to go all out in the 7 p.m. event at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan as they seek to set up a title duel with already Finals-bound F2 Logistics.
Following its emphatic 25-20, 10-25, 16-25, 27-25, 15-11 victory last Tuesday to force a rubber match, Cignal is hoping to return to the championship series and end its six-conference title drought.
The HD Spikers’ last championship run was in 2017 PSL Invitationals Cup, when they bolstered their roster with the acquisition of Rachel Ann Daquis and eventual MVP Jovelyn Gonzaga.
Daquis and Gonzaga collaborated for 36 markers to lead the Edgar Barroga-backed spikers.
The Far Eastern University standout unloaded 21 hits built on 14 kills — including Cignal’s final two points —, five blocks and two aces.
Gonzaga, meanwhile, managed 15 tallies on top of 23 digs as they finally defeated Petron after three attempts.
The HD Spikers will also lean on setter-spiker Alohi Robins-Hardy, who uncorked 26 excellent sets laced with eight points.
Squandering a twice-to-beat incentive, Petron is now forced into an unfamiliar territory, one that they have yet to explore since their lineup upgrade in 2017.
Unlike their five-set victory over Cignal during the prelims, the Blaze Spikers fell short of escaping the former this time despite getting good numbers from Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons and even Denden Lazaro.
Maizo-Pontillas scored team-high 22 hits off 19 kills and three blocks for the defending champs as fellow University of Sto. Tomas alum Rondina provided 20 points all from spikes.
Finishing with another double-double performance, Pons scored 17 tallies whilst complementing Lazaro’s 25 digs with her own 21.
(Image from Facebook/Philippine SuperLiga)