Second set starting to become a problem for unbeaten Petron

The Petron Blaze Spikers continued their hot streak as they handed the Cignal HD Spikers their 2nd straight loss in the 2016 PSL GrandPrix, 26-24, 21-25, 25-13, 25-17, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos lauded his team’s effort as they have been showing a dominating performance game after game. The Blaze Spikers are now leading the pact with a 4-0 win loss card in the first round of the tournament.

“Yung teamwork nung team. Not only yung imports yung gumagana but of course yung locals namin, kailangan mapagana din namin. Syempre nung last two games namin, sobrang binabantayan na si Steph (Niemer),” he told FOX Sports.

“Para samin pwede ka namang gumamble sa mga locals kasi kaya naman. Good thing talaga fighter yung imports namin. Para sa amin, sige bigay mo sa kaniya, okay lang ma-block walang problema sa kaniya. Basta babawi siya’t babawi,” added Delos Santos.

Starting to see a trend, Delos Santos noticed that this is the second time that Petron dropped the 2nd set of their game. The Blaze Spikers also lost their 2nd set in their match against the RC – Cola Army last Thursday.

Delos Santos said that the team still needs to focus on their game to prevent this kind of situation and maintain their early lead in the tournament.

“Hindi ko din alam kung ano yung exact na dahilan. Pero I think kailangan pa rin namin mas mag-focus dun sa lahat ng ginagawa namin. Siguro dumating lang sa amin yun pag nawalan lang talaga kami ng receive. Medyo nagla-lay low lang after nung first set. Pero kahit yung pagkatalo namin humahabol parin kami. Yun nga lang medyo kinakapos kami pag 2nd set,” he explained.

But for Delos Santos, that won’t really be a problem at all so long as they get off to a good start while pointing out that the communication inside the court holds key in sustaining their early blazing run.

The Blaze Spikers are bracing for an all-out war against Foton Tornadoes, the only other unbeaten team in the tournament, in their next game.

With a brewing rivalry against the Tornadoes, Delos Santos wants his team to be armed and ready against a team that has been building up for this tournament for so long.

Foton has been preparing since September starting off with its participation in the Asian Women’s Volleyball Club Championship that was held in Biñan, Laguna.

“[Yung] Foton, paghahandaan namin silang mabuti and hopefully, mag-click lahat,” Delos Santos said.

He cautioned his Blaze Spikers not to feel complacent after the four straight wins, noting that it’s still too early in the tournament.

“Kailangan namin dito ma-ipanalo namin yung game namin kasi siyempre importante lahat. Medyo matagal pa tong liga na to. Hindi kami pwede maging relaxed and maging komportable sa 4 wins namin. Kasi hindi lang naman yun yung magiging key para ma-reach namin yung goal namin,” he said.

The much-awaited rematch of last year’s GrandPrix Finals, which Foton won at the expense of Petron, will happen on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. – By Joyce Palad