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Foton notches fifth straight win, nips RC Cola

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Keeping the current longest winning streak in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix alive, the Foton Tornadoes drubbed the RC Cola – Air Force Raiders in straight sets, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 for their fifth consecutive win at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

After starting the season off slow, Foton got their act straight late in the first round and are now undefeated in the second round. RC Cola, on the other hand, struggled throughout the season with service reception and ball control and their impunity leaked out into today’s match.

RC Cola could not consistently deliver good passes, severely hampering their attack. Aside from their imports, RC got no significant contributions from their locals. Foton, meanwhile, efficiently utilized all their attackers, building early leads in each of the sets and never looking back.

6’5’’ NU standout, Jaja Santiago topped all Tornadoes with 15 markers off 10 attacks and five blocks. Bradley University alum, Lindsay Stalzer added 12 markers, while her fellow import, Katie Messing contributed nine points.

When asked if she was afraid of her team peaking too early, Foton head coach Vilet Ponce-De Leon stated that her team had a system in place and she wants her team to continue improving. “We just want everyone to play their best every game. May mga skills na gusto ko pang i-improve namin and they show development in those areas every game,” she said.

With the win, Foton ties Cignal with a 6-3 slate just behind Petron (6-2) and Philips Gold (7-2) in the semis race. According to coach De Leon, she had no preferences in who to face in the one-game elimination semifinals.

“We aren’t afraid of anyone. I think everyone’s pretty even naman. It’s just one game to get into the Finals so I think everyone will prepare. Paghahandaan rin naman kahit sino pa makalaban namin,” De Leon expressed.

Kansas University standout, Sara McClinton produced a game-high 16 points for the Raiders. Puerto Rico National Team stalwart Lynda Morales pitched in 13 points.

At fifth place with a 1-8 record, RC Cola will play their final match of the season on Saturday, November 14, against the cellar-dwelling Meralco Power Spikers at the De La Salle University – Lipa Gymnasium in Batangas.

The Scores

Foton (3) – Santiago 15, Stalzer 12, Messing 9, Perez 6, Tianco-Williams 6, Areneta 3, Remulla 2, Macatuno 0, Orendain 0, Delos Reyes 0, General (L)

RC Cola (0) – McClinton 16, Morales 13, Ortiz 6, Yongco 4, Pantino 2, Dimaculangan 1, Cases 0, Semana 0, Abanto (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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