Petron takes finals opener against Shopinas

By Ivan Saldajeno

IMUS—In her homecoming, Dindin Manabat provided the offensive spark for Petron in Game 1 of the PLDT Home Ultera-Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference Finals.

Manabat scored 16 points as the Blaze Spikers moved to within a win from the conference championship with a 25-18, 25-14, 25-19 win against the Shopinas Lady Clickers in the opener of the best-of-three finals at the Imus City Sports Center on Monday.

The former NU Lady Bulldog sparked Petron's charge midway through Set 1 to pull away from a tight period before her teammates helped the team open a huge lead in the second set.

With her opponents threatening to win swiftly after mounting a 21-12 Set 3 lead, birthday girl Cha Cruz put up a birthday bash as she led the Lady Clickers' late charge to cut the Blaze Spikers' lead to three, 23-20.

The rally, however, fell short as Manabat scored Petron's penultimate point before an Aby MaraƱo block sealed the win.

Maica Morada added nine points for the Blaze Spikers, who can clinch the title on Thursday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Cruz finished with 13 markers for the Lady Clickers, who need to win on Thursday to force a rubber match on Saturday.