Petron brushed off another sluggish start before routing Smart, 25-23, 25-13, 25-12, to complete a sweep of the first round of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference yesterday at the Caloocan Sports Center.
Middle Blockers Remy Palma and Mika Reyes asserted their dominance to tow the Blaze Spikers to their 10th consecutive win in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, Sogo, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with Genius Sports as technical partner.
Palma was a revelation as she registered seven kills, five aces and three blocks for 15 points while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Reyes chipped in 11 markers apiece for the Blaze Spikers, who are on track to duplicate their historic sweep of this conference three years ago.
Petron will take the top spot against the No. 8 spot in the sudden-death quarterfinals on Thursday at the Batangas City Coliseum.
In the Collegiate Grand Slam, Colegio San Agustin-Binan went through the wringer before shocking Far Eastern University, 17-25, 22-25, 25-12, 25-18, 15-12, while University of Santo Tomas remains flawless following a 25-22, 25-17, 25-19 win over University of the Philippines.
Despite falling behind by two sets, the Eagles refused to surrender as Lency Duarte and Aliah Marce delivered crucial hits to complete their upset of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines powerhouse.
Duarte fired 16 kills for 19 points, including 18 digs, while Marce delivered 16 points off 13 spikes and three service aces for the Eagles, who started the conference slow with two straight setbacks.
Maveth Torres was also instrumental with seven markers as well as setter Venice Puzon, who made 28 excellent sets on top of 20 digs and seven points.
Lycha Ebon erupted for 29 points while Martha Mora added 14 hits for the Lady Tamaraws, who committed 36 errors en route to their third loss in four matches.
Meanwhile, Filipino-Italian sophomore Milena Alessandrini dropped 14 points while rookie Eya Laure and Dimdim Pacres chipped in 10 hits for the Tigresses, who remain unbeaten in three matches.
The Lady Maroons, who banked on Aie Gannaban’s 11 markers, dropped to 3-1 as they missed star spiker Tots Carlos due to an ankle injury.
Games Tuesday: (Batangas City Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. — Foton vs Sta. Lucia
7:00 p.m. — Cignal vs Cocolife