Amid the ballyhoo, Petron take down F2 Logistics in straight sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18, Saturday for a sizzling start in the 2019 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Invitationals Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig.
Missing the services of injured Rhea Dimaculangan and Mika Reyes, the Blaze Spikers rallied behind the troika of Sisi Rondina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Ces Molina to spoil the start of the Cargo Movers’ title defense bid.
Rondina led all scorers with 17 hits off 15 kills and a pair of blocks for Petron, who joined Generika Ayala atop the Pool B standings with a 1-0 slate.
Fresh from the national team stint in Thailand, Maizo-Pontillas and Molina announced their return as they chipped in 16 and nine markers, respectively, for the Blaze Spikers, who looked like on a mission in the third set after zooming for a 19-10 blitz.
Without Kalei Mau, who is recovering from a Achilles heel injury, F2 Logistics leaned on the combined 25-point effort by Majoy Baron, Ara Galang and Kim Dy combined all for naught.
Petron got off to a fueling start in the pilot set with Maizo-Pontillas leading her squad, 14-8.
F2 Logistics then chopped the six-point deficit to one, 14-13, before Rondina propelled the former to a 10-0 blast for a huge 23-13 advantage.
With the Blaze Spikers a point away from winning the set, the Cargo Movers’ late set surge diminished the separation to just two before Molina finished the set with a cross-court hit.
A closer fight in the second, F2 Logistics closed a two-point distance and knotted the set at 23.
But Petron was steadier towards the end with Rondina giving her squad the set point followed by an error from the former.