Facing a revamped Smart Prepaid, the Foton Tornadoes averted a shocker and snuck past the Giga Hitters, 21-25, 25-20, 27-29, 25-15, 15-12, for their third win in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go/Philipipne Superliga Grand Prix at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
The Tornadoes were dragged into a fifth set by a Smart squad that added a second import, Sanja Trivunovic, and UAAP legend Maureen Penetrante-Quiano. With added firepower to compliment Cuban powerhouse Gyselle Silva, the Giga Hitters surprised last year’s bronze medalists in the first set, before stealing the third frame to come dangerously close to the season’s first upset.
Foton, however, found their groove in the fourth set and pushed the match to a decider. Locked at 10-all, American import Brooke Kranda towed the Tornadoes, scoring two of Foton’s next four points. Veteran Foton winger Mina Aganon shut the door on the Giga Hitters with an ace to seal the win.
“The other team had a lot of strong players, they really put up a fight. It was a great match and I think it’s these types of challenges that can really go a long way into building our character as a team,” said Kranda, who scored 17 points off 13 attacks, four blocks, and two aces.
The Tornadoes (3-2) take on the undefeated Petron Blaze Spikers (5-0) on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Smart (0-3) faces the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers (0-3) on Tuesday at the Imus Sports Center.