STA. ROSA CITY: Petron overcame a massive second-set meltdown and pulled off a 25-17, 8-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Cignal in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Center.
American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley came up strong, leading the Blaze Spikers to a strong finish in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as broadcast partner.
Stalzer and Hurley, the duo that spearheaded Petron to the finals of last year’s Grand Prix, combined for 27 of the Blaze Spikers’ 44 attack points while providing leadership down the crucial stretch.
They finished with 18 points apiece on top of eight combined aces as the Blaze Spikers took an early lead with a 2-0 win-loss card in this tourney that also has Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, Senoh, Grand Sport and LGR as technical sponsors.
“We had some troubles in the second set,” said Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos. “It’s good that we were able to recover and finish strong.”
After trailing by just two, 8-10, the vaunted floor defense of the Blaze Spikers conked out, allowing the HD Spikers to uncork 15 consecutive points to claim the second set, 25-8.
But Stalzer and Hurley connived in the attack zone to give Petron an early lead, 8-5, entering the first technical timeout.
Cignal import Jeane Horton connected on a backrow attack to pull the HD Spikers closer, 14-17, but the American reinforcements caught fire anew, giving Petron a third-set victory, 25-20.
Sonja Milanovic of Bosnia finished with a team-high 23 points while Horton chipped in 20 markers for the HD Spikers, who suffered their first loss after a rousing debut against Cocolife last Tuesday.