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Foton nets first winning streak, keeps Cignal winless in second round

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After a turbulent early-season run, the Foton Tornadoes began their turnaround, winning their second match in a row over the suddenly struggling Cignal HD Spikers 25-17, 25-19, 25-18 in the second round of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Drawing stellar efforts from everyone who played, Foton took advantage of a predictable Cignal attack that either went through imports Ariel Usher or Amanda Anderson. Usher fired-off 23 points while Anderson managed seven, but the rest team managed only a combined 10 points. Foton, on the other hand, accrued phenomenal performances from three of their spikers – Kayla Tiangco-Williams, and imports Lindsay Stalzer and Katy Messing – who all dropped 13 points apiece. Towering local wunderkind, Jaja Santiago supported the offense with eight markers.

Foton won every set convincingly, rattling off crucial points late in the second set and midway through the third set to secure the sweep. The Tornadoes out-spiked the HD Spikers 46-37, while also producing more block kills, 8-3.

The Tornadoes had lost three straight matches before demolishing the RC Cola – Air Force Raiders in straight sets last Tuesday. According to Foton head coach Vilet Ponce-De Leon it was only a matter of time for her team to get into the groove. “A lot of our problems were just chemistry-related, siyempre nagkakapaan pa ‘yung mga players ko. Even though half the team are holdovers from last conference, we added din a lot of players and, of course, getting used to playing with imports isn’t easy. Skills-wise, my players are great. Kung baga nagakaka-amuyan pa lang kami,” she said.

“Of course the goal for is to win every game this round. We just need to keep on improving and working on our chemistry and we should be fine,” Ponce aadded. Foton’s usual starting libero, Bia General suited up but did not enter the match as she is still suffering from flu-like symptoms.

Foton now evens their record at 3-3 good for fourth in the standings while Cignal slides to a 5-2 slate, still winless in the second round after sweeping their first five matches.

The Scores

Foton (3) – Tiangco-Williams 13, Stalzer 13, Messing 13, Santiago 8, Araneta 4, Perez 4, Delos Reyes 2, Macatuno 1, Acevedo (L)

Cignal (0) – Usher 23, Anderson 7, Gallenero 4, Vivas 4, Tiu 1, Laborte 1, Hingpit 0, Angustia 0, Ancheta 0, Mandapat 0, Mullenberg 0, Dionela (L), Enclona (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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