We didn't panic -- Stalzer on Foton's comeback win

Mark Escarlote on Dec 08, 2016 11:54 PM
We didn't panic -- Stalzer on Foton's comeback win
We’ll fight for every point. We’ll never give up -- Lindsay Stalzer

Down two sets.

No problem.

Jaja Santiago going down with a foot injury midway in the second frame.

Just a hiccup.  

Trailing by five to start the fifth set.

Just a piece of cake. 

Defending champion Foton Tornadoes showed nerves of steel to storm back from a 0-2 hole in the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix and steal the best-of-three series opener, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-9, Thursday night against arch rival Petron at The Arena in San Juan.

“No, we didn’t panic. We’re just trying to say we had to stay positive no matter what,” said American import Lindsay Stalzer, who scored 30 points. “We’ll fight for every point. We’ll never give up.”

Foton started out flat, losing the first two sets and played without 6-foot-5 Santiago, who hurt her right foot after stepping on a player’s foot going down from a block attempt. Santiago returned to action to finish the game.

Stalzer said that it was them that buried themselves on an early whole more than Petron, which they defeated for the third time after a clean sweep of the Tri-Activ Spikers in the two-round prelims, doing something different from their first two meetings.   

“I don’t think that Petron did anything,” she said. “I think we shot ourselves in the foot really. We missed a lot of serves and we’re making some messy plays and weren’t converting and we weren’t hitting the ball very hard.”

After a tying the match, Foton went down 3-8. But the Tornadoes made a huge 12-1 rally, highlighted by a controversial unsuccessful challenge on a touch ball that closed the gap to 7-8, to steal the game.

“Everyone was just really good with not hanging their heads,” said Stalzer. “Ariel (Usher) was really good in giving some motivational speeches and that’s just part of our team. We know we can count on each other when we’re down.”

Game 2 is on Saturday at the PhilSports Arena. If necessary, Game 3 is on December 13 at The Arena.

 

 

 

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

 

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