Foton Pilipinas salvages 7th place

Mark Escarlote on Sep 11, 2016 02:45 PM
Foton Pilipinas salvages 7th place
The Tornadoes fell short of its dream of reaching the top four but as a consolation surpassed Petron’s eighth place in last year’s edition in Vietnam (File Photo).
BINAN CITY, LAGUNA --- Host team Foton Pilipinas ended a five-game drought to finish seventh after clobbering T. Grand of Chinese-Taipei, 25-17, 30-28, 25-23, Sunday at the close of the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship at the Alonte Sports Arena here.

The Tornadoes fell short of their dream of reaching the top four, but as a consolation surpassed Petron’s eighth place in last year’s edition in Vietnam.

Overall, Foton Pilipinas won two games in seven outings. They defeated Kwai Tsing of Hong Kong in straight sets to open their campaign in the group stage before dropping five straight including games against top caliber teams like Japan, Kazakhstan and China.

American import Lindsay Stalzer scored all her 18 points from kills while her partner Ariel Usher had 15 points coming off 13 kills and a pair of kill blocks to lead Foton Pilipinas. Abigail Marano had 11 points while Jovelyn Gonzaga finished with 10 for the Tornadoes.

“I think we are the stronger team and we were able to control each of the sets,” said Stalzer, who will try to tow the Tornadoes to back-to-back titles in the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix starting next month.

After breezing past the Taiwanese in the opening set, the Tornadoes found themselves in trouble in the second, falling behind 14-18 before mounting a rally to tie the match at 21 from a kill by Marano.

Foton Pilipinas took the lead and were at set point twice but T. Grand recovered each time. Chinese-Taipei stole the set point with a solid block off Gonzaga’s attack, 28-27.

Usher scored back-to-back points before Marano sealed the set win with a running attack.

The Taiwanese again gave Foton Pilipinas a challenge in the third, taking a 23-22 lead before the Tornadoes scored three straight capped by Gonzaga’s match-clinching kill from the middle.

“The Philippine team is much taller than us. After the first set we tried to adjust in the second and third but the Philippines is really a good team,” said T. Grand mentor Chung-Jen Lo.

“We are a young team and we came here to get experience,” he added. “Our players learned from here playing against more mature players and learned how to cope with pressure playing in this kind of international competition.”

Team captain Ya-Hui Chiu scored 13 points for Chinese-Taipei, which settled for eighth place.

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