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Foton opens AFC campaign with statement win over Cignal

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The Foton Tornadoes burst into the PSL’s All-Filipino conference with a devastating 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 sweep over the Cignal HD Spikers at the MoA Arena.

Though both teans were working with revamped lineups, Fotons’ heavy hitting Cebuana, Patty Orendain and UP team Captain, Nicole Tiamzon made for a disruptive offensive duo. Together, they combined for 32 points, 27 of those points came off spikes.

The Tornadoes looked lost at the onset of the match as the team composed of mostly new players went through a feeling out stage. Cignal took an early 3-0 lead but Foton Open Spiker, Patty Orendain, countered with three points in a run that gave her team the lead, 8-6. Cignal threatened to take the reigns but the HD Spikers’ lack of chemistry was visible, as Fotons’ more coordinated attacks devastated Cignal’s shaky defense. Both Tiamzon and Orendain carried the Tornadoes to a comfortable first set win.

Both teams scrambled to take the lead come the beginning of the second set, but Foton eventually broke away with a three-point run, that sparked after Cignal adjusted their lineup to load the net with three attackers. Foton protected their three-point bubble, up until the set reached 23-20, when Cignal popped that bubble with a 4-1 rally to force a deuce. However, the HD Spikers squandered their scoring crawl as they gave up two consecutive errors, handing the set to Foton.

Cignal utilized the extent of their offensive artillery better in the third set when the middle blockers got more touches, exploiting Foton’s weaker middle defense. The HD Spikers managed their errors more effectively and wound up with a 16-10 lead. Behind stellar serving from Tiamzon, Foton continously nibbled at the lead eventually tying the set at 16. Cignal built a two-point lead that held up to 21-23, when Cignal’s error problem reared its head again, allowing Foton to waltz to a debut win.

“We really didn’t get a chance to properly warm up, so ‘yung first set ‘yung naging warm up namin. Thankfully we were able to recover today and get over dry stretches. Kailangan namin mag-improve kasi di na kami makakakuha ng ganoong opportunities sa next games,” said Foton Head Coach Vilet De Leon.

The Scores:

Foton – Orendain 18, Tiamzon 14, Lasitimosa 8, Araneta 3, Remulla 3, Estampa 3, Mendez 0, Factor 0, Panteleon (L)

Cignal – Navarro 10, Panaga 8, Clemente 7, Vivas 5, Segodine 5, Mangui 4, Ticar 3, Nepumoceno 2, Ancheta 1, 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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