Foton Pilipinas eyes 5th place finish after falling short of a semis spot
Mark Escarlote on Sep 09, 2016 07:10 PM
Kahit ‘di kami nakapasok sa semifinals ‘di kami titigil sa goal and ang goal is lumaban lang sa susunod na kalaban -- Foton Pilipinas middle Jaja Santiago
BINAN CITY --- After falling short of its dream of reaching the top four, Foton Pilipinas will now gun to end its campaign in the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship with at least a fifth place finish.
The Tornadoes absorbed its fourth straight loss with a 16-25, 18-25, 14-25 defeat at the hands of powerhouse Ba’yi Shenzeng of China in the quarterfinals Friday.
“We know who we are and we know what we want to become. Of course China is another league for us like Japan and Thailand,” said Foton coach Fabio Menta.
“Going into the semifinals is more of a dream for the country not really a target knowing that we got together in the last minute,” he added. “We got three player coming from another team, we have two imports who just came in, there’s a new coach bringing in a new system. You don’t improvise sports like that. You have to work hard.”
The loss relegated the Tornadoes in the classification phase for 5th to 8th spot. They will take on Sarmayeh Bank-Iran on Saturday.
“But the adventure is not over yet because this is the real target for us going for the fifth position,” the Italian mentor said.
The Iranians suffered a 25-20, 15-25, 23-25, 15-25, loss at the hands of Altay VC-Kazakhstan in their quarterfinals pairing.
“Kahit ‘di kami nakapasok sa semifinals ‘di kami titigil sa goal and ang goal is lumaban lang sa susunod na kalaban,” said Tornadoes skipper Jaja Santiago, who scored seven points against China.
American import Lindsay Stalzer, who skipped two games because of a back spasm, said that they’ve learned a lot from their experience and they are eyeing to give the country at least a consolation of a fifth place finish.
“A lot of factors contribute to the fact that we’re not performing (the way we planned) but I’m just proud of just how well we’re coming together as a team. We’re just trying to improve,” said the 2015 PL Grand Prix MVP.
“It’s a little upsetting or disappointing that we’re not playing in the semifinals, but that's life,” she added.
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