The Foton Tornadoes looked invincible until they faced the Petron Blaze Spikers in the 2017 Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Tornadoes were served a hard reality check when the Blaze Spikers outclassed them in four sets.
Most jarring from the Foton was the lack of production from all but one player. Petron had both imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley provide the bulk of their offense with a sprinkle of points from the locals.
Foton, on the other hand, had Serbian import Sara Klisura tally 29 points, with the rest of the team scoring below their average.
The Tornadoes’ Jaja Santiago, who had just 11 points against Petron, knows that the most successful teams in the Grand Prix have everyone involved, not just the imports.
A pivotal cog in Foton’s last two Grand Prix titles, the National Team stalwart vows that Klisura will have more support tomorrow when they face the undefeated F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.
“Siyempre mas maganda na mabigyan namin siya (Klisura) ng maganda suporta at the same time matulungan namin siya,” the six-foot-five winger told Tiebreaker Times.
“Kasi mas mahalaga at maganda ang magiging resulta ng laro kung magkakaroon kami ng teamwork at masunod namin ng sama-sama yung game plan namin.”
With a 5-1 record, the Tornadoes are assured of a top four seed in the knockout quarterfinals, which begin next week. Even if the result of tomorrow’s match has no technical bearing on their standings, Santiago insists that beating a dominant foe like the Cargo Movers will do wonders for their confidence.
For a team gunning for a historic three-peat, Foton need all the confidence they can get.
“Sobrang importante sa amin ‘yung game bukas, lalo na ang manalo. Hindi puwedeng kumpiyansa lang kami sa final four dahil mas gusto namin na masiguro na maganda din yung pwesto namin,” the NU Lady Bulldog thought.
“Siguro merong pressure konti pero gagawin nalang namin motivation yung pressure na yon para ma-handle at makalaro kami ng maayos.”
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