After a heartbreaking five-set loss to Cignal on opening day, Grethcel Soltones and the Foton Tornadoes vented their frustrations on league-neophytes Cocolife Asset Managers, taking a 25-16, 25-17, 25-13 rout, Thursday evening at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Soltones scored 11 points in the game, 11 coming off kills. Dindin Santiago-Manabat added nine markers, pouncing on the Asset Managers’ sluggish floor defense.
The Tornadoes had 40 kills, while the Asset Managers had only 19. Their defense was also on-point, finishing with 31 digs, while Cocolife had only 24 despite the backline presence of ace libero Denden Lazaro.
And the inexperience of Cocolife as a team was emphasized in the game.
“Cocolife is a new team. They have good players, but we are more experienced,” said Foton head coach Moro Branislav.
Staring at a 0-2 set deficit, the Asset Managers showed some traces of life in the third set as Michele Gumabao and Andrea Marzan delivered a pair of kills to put Cocolife ahead, 6-5.
But that was the last kick of the Asset Managers, as the Tornadoes, behind the powerful smashes of Soltones and Manabat, took control for a 17-19 advantage en route to the victory that lasted for only 73 minutes.
Wensh Tiu nailed six points, while Gumabao finished with five markers for the Asset Managers, who fell to a 0-2 slate.
Foton will next face the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers on Saturday, March 11, at the Malolos Convention Center in Bulacan at 5:00pm. It’s a match-up Branislav is looking forward to, in order to properly gauge the composition of his team.
“Normally, I like to see how our next match which is Generika. For my opinion, there are four teams which can make it to the semifinals; Cignal, Petron, Generika and Foton. If we can win over them on Saturday, that will be very interesting,” the Serbian mentor added.
Cocolife, on the other hand, take on the Petron Blaze Spikers on the same day at 7:00pm.