Game Today (The Arena, San Juan City)
7 p.m. – Petron vs F2 Logistics
Only the strongest and bravest of heart will remain standing when two of the best club teams in the country – Petron and F2 Logistics – clash in the rubber match of their Philippine Superliga Grand Prix best-of-three finals series today at The Arena in San Juan City.
Match is at 7 p.m. with both the Blaze Spikers and Cargo Movers tipped to give everything they have in their chase for the prestigious crown in the event that has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners.
The Cargo Movers drew the first blood in the sixth chapter of their storied rivalry in this league that also has Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project as major backers.
F2 Logistics posted an impressive 25-20, 16-25, 25-23, 25-23, in Game 1 late Tuesday, snapping Petron’s 17-game winning streak and stepping a win away from winning the title.
But the Blaze Spikers refused to surrender the title.
Behind another powerful performance from Americans Stephanie Niemer and Katherine Bell, Petron knotted the series with a 23-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-19 victory in Game 2 to set the stage for a kill-or-be-killed battle.
The hard-hitting Bell delivered 25 points and 24 digs while Niemer chipped in 23 hits for the Blaze Spikers, who finally drew impressive numbers from their local crew of Mika Reyes, Rhea Dimaculangan and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.
Reyes, the comely former De La Salle University star, had seven kills, four blocks and a pair of aces for 13 points while veteran Maizo-Pontillas knocked down seven points to compliment the 29 excellent sets tallied by her former University of Santo Tomas teammate in Dimaculangan.
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos said their inspired performance in Game 2 was sparked by an open-forum, where they blurted out their feelings and made a commitment to go all out to finish the job and win the crown no matter what it takes.
“We accepted Game 1 as a challenge. It was a wakeup call,” said Delos Santos, whose bid to sweep the tournament was doomed by that sorry Game 1 loss.
“After losing in Game 1, we had an open forum where we allowed everybody to express their feelings.
“We had an open forum where we allowed everybody to express their feelings. We have to release all of those so we can feel the presence of each other. I’m glad that everybody stepped up and was on the same page all throughout the match.”