The Petron Blaze Spikers only needed three sets to take down the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in Game 1 of the 2017 Chooks-to-Go PSL Grand Prix Finals.
They ran their plays like a well-oiled machine as they showed efficiency on both ends of the floor and dominated all categories.
“It was a team effort and everybody was at the top of their game. This is the best we played, I think. It’s the perfect time to peak,” said Lindsay Stalzer who teamed up with Hillary Hurley in unleashing 20 points apiece to tow Petron to victory.
Stalzer used to play with F2 Logistics’ import, Maria Jose Perez, in the Indonesian Volleyball League. Now that they are representing different squads, she vows to do everything she can to give her former teammate a tough time.
“I have a lot of respect for Maria. She’s a great player and a good friend, but you know, she’s across the net so I’m gonna take it to her and give it the best I’ve got,” said the 33-year-old spiker.
Petron head coach Shaq delos Santos was very proud of his players’ almost flawless execution. “Lahat ng ginawa namin, hindi man perfect, pero ang ganda ng nangyari at naging effective ang game plan namin,” he said.
The Blaze Spikers mentor shared that one of the things that they prioritized in their preparations is their target serving.
“Kailangan ma-target namin yung weakness nung receiver nila. Yun ang nangyari,” he said as they finished with a 9-4 advantage in service aces.
Delos Santos added, “Kung ano ang nangyari (sa Game 1), mas dodoblehin namin. Kailangan namin ma-maintain na ganoon ka-relaxed maglaro. Yung past few games namin, medyo stiff ang galaw namin.”
Petron played a great all-around game in their series opener but Stalzer believes that the Blaze Spikers can still increase their level of play come Thursday.
“We can always improve. The amount of dedication that we’ve shown in the past couple of weeks, I’m just over the moon because we put in so much time and effort and mental energy,” she shared.
The former league MVP, who is personally gunning for her third straight PSL Grand Prix title, knows that closing out the series in two matches is going to be very difficult.
“I don’t think it’s gonna be quite as easy in Game 2. They’re gonna go and think of everything they can do to stop us,” Stalzer said. “We’ll try to anticipate and just prepare as well. I’m very confident going into the next game.”