Coming off a first game loss, the Foton Tornadoes found their niche and downed the Generika Lifesavers in four sets, 25-11, 22-25, 26-24, 25-21, in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference 2016, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Foton Head Coach Vilet Ponce De Leon said their first game loss became a good wake up call for her team.
“Maganda nga na nu’ng natalo kami, that’s the first game kasi maaga-aga ‘yung kalabit sa’min,” she said.
The first set was mostly a one-sided affair with Foton leading by eight coming into the second technical timeout, 16-8, after back-to-back passing errors by Generika. Foton used the cushion to grab the set with a 9-3 run concluded by a Wensh Tiu service error followed by a Ria Meneses miscue.
The Lifesavers seemed to have renewed energy in the following set, leading by four at the second technical timeout, 16-12. The team rode off the lead and came to set point, 24-17. Foton, then, saved five set points via timely hits by Carol Cerveza and Jaja Santiago, and a service ace by Rhea Dimaculangan, but a Chloe Cortez cross court hit closed the set for the Lifesavers, 25-22.
With the teams tied at one set each, middle hitter Geneveve Casugod and Chole Cortez came to life to carry Generika to a 17-13 advantage in the third.
Santiago, who shifted to the open hitter position with Angeli Araneta at the middle position, answered with three consecutive hits to trim the lead to two, 16-18, forcing Generika head coach Francis Vicente to call a timeout.
The switch worked well for them, according to the Fonton mentor.
“We have players who can do a lot, not just one position. We try to maximize kung ano ‘yung mga potentials nila, and we are trying to get them ready sa mas matitindi [na kalaban],” she said.
The opposing sides, then, exchanged blows from Santiago and Rondina for Foton and Meneses and Tiu for the Lifesavers, until a 23-23 deadlock.
An untimely net touch violation by Casugod, followed by back-to-back solid hits by game top-scorer Rondina, however, closed the extended set for Foton, 26-24.
Rondina scored 21 for the Tornadoes, 19 of which came from attacks, but coach Ponce De Leon said they still are looking for improvement from the incoming UST senior.
“Actually kino-control pa namin si [Rondina], kasi marami pa siyang [lapses] sa depensa. Naninigas pa siya e. Ganyan ‘yang batang ‘yan ‘pag medyo naeexcite,” said Ponce De Leon.
In the fourth set, Generika led by as much as four, 14-10 capped by a perfectly placed drop ball by Meneses. Rondina, then, provided the much-needed spark for the Tornadoes with five attacks to eventually bring them to a 19-16 advantage.
Generika, however, once again brought the game to a tie at 21-21, after a 5-3 mini-run capped off by back-to-back hits by Meneses.
An untimely service error by Cortez and a service ace by Foton captain Araneta, followed by a block on Meneses and an Ortiz running attack closed the set 25-21, and the game 3-1 for the Foton Tornadoes.
Both teams stand 1-1 after the game.
The .500 Tornadoes will next face Amy’s Kitchen on Tuesday at the Cuneta Astrodome, while Generika will have less then 48 hours to prepare for their game against Petron on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Foton (3) – Rondina 21, Santiago 16, Laure 9, Ortiz 8, Dimaculangan 4, Araneta 3, Cerveza 3, Orendain 2, Henson 0, Perez 0, Macatuno 0, General (L)
Generika (1) – Adorador 14, Tiu 13, Cortez 12, Meneses 11, Casugod 9, De Leon 5, Pagdanganan 1, Cabanos 0, Dacoron 0, Arado (L)