Petron kicked off its quest for a three-peat on a high note as it brought down Generika-Ayala, 25-22, 25-22, 25-21, in the opening salvo of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix last weekend at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
American import Kath Bell picked up where she left off as she carried the Blaze Spikers to an impressive win in this prestigious women’s club league bankrolled by Cocolife, Sogo, Eurotel, Sweet and Fit Stevia, UCPB Gen, Team Rebel Sports and Bizooku.
Bell had a game-high 17 points for the Blaze Spikers, who drew firepower from Remy Palma and Lutgarda Malaluan to tally their first win in just an hour and 18 minutes in this tourney that also has Gerflor, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa and Mueller Sports as technical partners.
Palma had 11 points while Malaluan chipped in six markers, much to the delight of veteran mentor Emil Lontoc.
“It was a good win for us, a lot of people were doubting on us during the off season,” Lontoc said.
“But we were optimistic about our team and it anchored us to our win.”
Lontoc also mentioned that their straight-set victory was a morale boost for the Blaze Spikers, who undergone a major revamp during the off-season.
He admitted that when he first came to the team, he only had five players left from the previous season, while losing some of the key players including Mika Reyes, Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Denden Lazaro and Rhea Dimaculangan, who’s now with Generika-Ayala.
But the team was motivated to start anew and he wants his wards to prove that they can still be a force to reckon with in the league.
“When I first came I only had five players, some were still adjusting to the new system but we worked hard and we will continue to work hard for us to reach our goal,” Lontoc said.
“Facing Petron’s former players served as a motivation for us to give our best, of course outside of the court all of us are friends, but on the court we mean business.”
Cuban import Elizabeth Vicet Campos tallied 15 points for Generika-Ayala.
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