The Foton Blue Energy stayed on pace for the top spot in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference standings after a 25-14, 25-21, 19-25, 25-13 romp of the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Foton were dominant to start the match, taking the first two sets thanks to overwhelming late runs. The Lady Realtors caught a break in the third set, taking advantage of Foton’s late errors to break a 19-all tie ans take the set via a 6-0 run.
In the fourth set, the Tornadoes were relentless in finishing off the match. Starting with an 8-1 blitz, the Tornadoes never looked back.
After a disastrous start to the Invitational Cup – which led to a coaching change – Foton are off to a splendid start under new head coach Aaron Velez, despite losing towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat.
As their second-set loss showed, Velez emphasized the importance of developing his team’s chemistry.
“We want to find out our composition din as a team. It was test for us on how we can come back from a down set. We’re still looking for chemistry,” said Velez. “I’m really happy, but not content. Makikita mo naman sa mga bata na, slowly, maganda na ‘yung response. Hopefully, as the days go by, mas magkaroon kami na rapport.”
National University standout Mina Aganon topped the Blue Energy with 19 points, while former De La Salle Lady Spiker Arriane Layug added a career-high 17 markers.
Sta. Lucia’s big off-season signee Jhoana Maraguinot continues to find her groove after missing six months of action due to a right meniscus tear. Still, she managed to lead her squad with 11 points and 11 excellent receptions. Lady Realtors setter Rubie De Leon added eight points and nine excellent sets.
Foton (3-0) next take on the Smart Giga Hitters (1-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Realtors (3-0) will look for their first win against the Cignal HD Spikers (1-2) also on Tuesday.
Foton (3) – Aganon 19, Layug 17, Rosario 9, Adorador 8, Ortiz 8, De Leon 5, Fabay 0, Perez 0, Yongco 0, Reyes (L)
Sta. Lucia (1) – Maraguinot 11, De Leon 8, Raslan 7, Laborte 6, Lastimosa 6, Villareal 2, Estoquia 1, Hernandez 1, Rivera Re. 1, Demontaño (L), Rivera Ri. (L)
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