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Petron opened its campaign with a rousing 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 triumph over Generika yesterday at the start of the 2016 Asics Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Tri-Activ Spikers took the measure of the Life Savers in just 71 minutes to win their first game.
American import Stephanie Niemer topped all scorers in her debut, finishing with 18 points on 15 spikes, three blocks and three service aces, including six digs to lead the way for Petron. Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and the new skipper Frances Molina chipped in 10 hits each, while the other reinforcement from United States, Serena Warner, added nine points.
“We’re happy that everybody performed well today. Hopefully, we could maintain this kind of performance and keep on improving because it’s a long way to go for all the squads this conference,” said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos. “We have to step up and be more consistent with our skills and as a team because all teams are really strong with their imports.”
The Tri-Activ Spikers, runners-up in last year’s Grand Prix, consistently carried the momentum up to the second set, building a 7-0 margin and extended it to a commanding 18-12 lead.
However, Generika managed to recover, scoring eight of the next 10 points to tie at 23-all. Petron stopped the bleeding with a great play capped by Maizo-Pontillas’ crosscourt hit to take the two-set advantage.
Petron caught fire in the third set, building an 18-12 lead and never looked back from there to win the match, nailing seven of the last nine points.
Despite the convincing performance, Delos Santos seeks to still improve the team’s chemistry, especially with their imports.
“Today they (imports) played all out but as of now, the imports are still familiarizing with the locals. I know that they could unleash more,” he said.