Foton boots out Sta. Lucia, faces Petron in semis
Maika Ortiz of Foton pounds a facial on Ukrainian import Bohdana Anisova of Sta. Lucia Realty.
Three-peat-seeking Foton needed some time to heat up before pounding Sta. Lucia Realty to submission, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17, Thursday night to book a spot in the knockout semifinals of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The trio of Serbian import Sara Klisura, Montenegrin Dragana Perunicic and 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiao powered the Tornadoes to victory and a Final Four meeting with Petron.
Klisura had 20 attacks for 23 points while Santiago had 21 points off 16 kills, three aces and a pair of kill blocks for Foton. Perunicic and Maika Ortiz chipped in 12 points each while Ivy Perez tallied 23 excellent sets for the Tornadoes.
Six-foot-2 Dindin Santiago-Manabat saw action for the first time since sustaining a right knee injury early this year during the Invitational Conference but was scoreless in a relief role in the second and third frames.
Serbian head coach Moro Branislav expressed his disappointment with how Foton took the win.
“This is a very bad match. We didn’t play good against one of the best teams in the league,” he said. “This is a very difficult match against a good team like Sta. Lucia.”
The Tornadoes swayed the momentum to their side in the third set after erasing a 13-17 deficit and staving off the Lady Realtors’ comeback attempt to take a 2-1 match lead before cruising in the fourth after building a 20-10 gap.
The Lady Realtors started out hot, shocking the Tornadoes. Foton equalized in the second but the Tornadoes found themselves trailing, 13-17, midway in the third set.
From an 18-19 deficit, Foton nailed five straight points to take a 23-19 lead. SLR fought back to close the gap, 23-22, but Klisura sealed the set with a kill and a kill block against Djanel Cheng.
Ukrainian Bohdana Anisova finished with 21 points, all from attacks, while Pam Lastimosa scored 12, 11 off kills, in a lost cause for the Lady Realtors.
Canadian reinforcement Marisa Field and Fil-American Mar-Jana Philips posted 10 markers each.
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