Petron eyes semis vs No. 8 Sta. Lucia

MANILA, Philippines — After a sweep of the first round, rampaging top seed Petron seeks to take the next step in its drive as it eyes its expected place in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Cup semifinals tonight against lightweight quarterfinal opponent Sta. Lucia today at Batangas Sports Coliseum.

The Blaze Spikers have played like a well-oiled machine in the 10-game preliminaries and are heavily favored to get past the No. 8 Lady Realtors in the 7 p.m. sudden-death quarterfinal encounter.

Third seed Generika-Ayala, one of the big revelations of the tourney,  and No. 6 Smart open hostilities at 4:15 p.m. to dispute a Last-4 berth.

“We worked hard in the preliminaries so expect us to work harder in the quarterfinals,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos, who stressed the Blaze Spikers won’t make the mistake of taking their unheralded opponent lightly. “Sta. Lucia is a tough team. It’s going to be an interesting match.”

Mika Reyes, Remy Palma, Rhea Dimaculangan, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons are expected to take up the cudgels for Petron against the Lady Realtors led by Pam Lastimosa and Jho Maraguinot, who are trying to overcome the absence of injured Fil-Am MJ Philips and Chin Basas.

SLR coach George Pascua, who called the shots for Petron when it swept its way to the crown in 2015, said the Lady Realtors will give it their best shot.

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