STEPHANIE Niemer led a furious Petron rally in the deciding set as her team hammered out a convincing 26-24, 21-25, 25-13, 25-17 victory over Cignal to remain unscathed and on top of the 2016 Asics Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera yesterday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
A prolific scorer from University of Cincinnati, Niemer spewed fire in the fourth set and helped the Tri-Activ Spikers recover from a rusty start to pull off the win in this prestigious tourney bankrolled by Mikasa, Mueller, Grand Sport and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
With the win, Petron solidified its hold of the leadership with a 4-0 win-loss card.
Its closest pursuer, reigning champion Foton, is behind with 2-0, but could inch closer pending the result of its clash with dangerous RC Cola-Army in the third match of this weekend battle that also has Focus Athletics, KLab Cyscorpions, Foton, Petron and F2 Logistics as sponsors.
Cignal suffered its second consecutive setback in two starts.
Niemer, who campaigned for PSL-F2 Logistics Manila in the prestigious FIVB Women’s Club World Championship last month, dropped 19 kills and three aces to finish with 22 points while veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Serena Warner had 17 and 12 hits, respectively.
But more than her glowing numbers, it was Niemer’s leadership in the deciding set that steered Petron to this impressive victory.