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Foton keeps chance at second seed alive; drubs lowly Cignal

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With the coveted second seed still up for grabs, the Foton Tornadoes kept their names in the hat with a straight set thrashing of the Cignal HD Spikers 25-21, 25-15, 25-15 in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Foton seemed rejuvenated; after coming off a miserable three-game losing streak, the Tornadoes have rattled off two straight victories. Against Cignal, all their big guns emerged and punctured Cignal’s defense for 43 attacks to Cignal’s measly 25.

The first set was the only bright spot for the Cignal HD Spikers as their friskiness moved them ahead early 5-1. Cignal slowly started to succumb to Foton’s attacking as the Tornadoes took it one break point at a time. With Cignal in the lead, 19-16, Foton burst into a four-point run thanks to Pam Lastimosa’s two blocks, putting them ahead 19-20. It seemed that Foton was going to break down late, coughing up three straight errors. However, Tomasina Lastimosa buoyed her team, scoring four straight points highlighted by a block on UST teammate Mela Tunay. She then capped the set with a beautiful off the block power hit.

Foton dominated the next two sets as the usually feisty Cignal seemed to have lost the will to climb back into games after falling behind. After Foton went on a 5-0 run in the second frame that gave them a 17-12 lead, the Tornados easily claimed eight of the next 11 points as Cignal’s offense tamed down. The final set unfolded in the same fashion as Foton broke away with another mid-set rally that Cignal did not feel like responding to. Another 5-0 run placed Foton ahead, 18-11. Cignal only scored four points at that point, prompting their coach, Sammy Acaylar, to walk away in disgust.

Lastimosa finished with 17 points while Patty Orendain and the “iskolar ng bayan” Nicole Tiamzon both pitched in 13 markers. Jeanette Panaga was the only bright spot for Cignal as the middle blocker dropped 11 markers and was the only HD Spiker in double figures.

Foton needs Shopinas.com to lose their match with Petron for them to have identical records. Should Shopinas lose, their match with Foton on Thursday becomes a showdown for the second seed.

The Scores:

Foton (3) – Lastimosa 17, Tiamzon 13, Orendain 13, Araneta 7, Remulla 5, Macatuno 0, Tan 0, Velasquez 0, Panteleon (L)

Cignal (0) – Panaga 11, Vivas 7, Nepumuceno 4, Tunay 4, Clemente 3, Bravo 2, Ancheta 2, Mangui 1, Navarro 1, Segodine 1, Ticar 0, Dionela (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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