MANILA -- Defending champion Petron displayed its might in a swift demolition of Sta. Lucia, 25-8, 25-8, 25-18, in the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Thursday evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Imports Stephanie Niemer and Katherine Bell took charge once more for the Blaze Spikers, as they finished off the Lady Realtors in just 61 minutes of play.
Niemer had 24 points off 17 kills, five aces and two blocks, while also adding 11 digs. Bell, meanwhile, scored 14 of her 17 points from attacks. Setter Rhea Dimaculangan was credited with 27 excellent sets on top of 3 points, while libero Denden Lazaro accounted for 11 digs and six receptions.
Petron improved to 4-0 in the Grand Prix.
"We've been seeing the improvement of the team, but we can never be contented on what we have right now," said Petron head coach Shaq delos Santos, who remains determined to temper expectations for his powerhouse squad.
"We have to maintain this kind of performance, or even level it up for us to reach our goal," he stressed.
After limiting the Lady Realtors to just eight points in the first two sets, the Blaze Spikers trailed early in the third, 3-7, before getting their acts together and surging ahead, 10-9.
They pulled away by four points, 19-15, with Niemer leading the way, but the stubborn Lady Realtors remained within striking distance and made it a two-point game, 20-18.
But Bernadeth Pons stepped up along with Petron's two imports to account for three of their last five points, as the defending champions completed the straight sets victory.
Nobody scored in double figures for Sta. Lucia as imports Casey Schoenlein and Molly Lohman emerged with eight and six points, respectively.
The Lady Realtors fell to their fourth straight loss in five matches.
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