Foton concluded its 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference with a positive outcome, triumphing over the determined Gerflor in four sets, 26-24, 13-25, 25-21, 26-24, on a Thursday morning clash at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Shaya Adorador spearheaded the Tornadoes’ second PVL victory, amassing an impressive 23 points, while middle blocker Seth Rodriguez contributed 13 points through nine successful attacks and four solid blocks.
With this victory, the Tornadoes secured the 11th spot in their debut professional conference. On the other hand, the Defenders concluded their inaugural season without a win, settling for the 12th position behind fellow newcomer Farm Fresh.
“Big win ito para samin, ito yung babauunin namin this conference para pagbutihin pa kung saka-sakali man na palarin pa na ituloy yung Foton team. Maganda yung confidence na dadalin, hindi lang ako, pati yung mga players… Iba yung nae-experience nila ngayon na saya at sigla habang naglalaro,” said Foton head coach Brian Esquibel
The formidable trio of Rodriguez, Adorador, and Nene Bautista fueled Foton’s 3-0 surge in the fourth set, bringing them to match point, 24-21. However, Gerflor refused to surrender and mounted their own 3-0 comeback, leveling the score at 24-24 with Justine Dorog’s through-the-block attack and Andrea Marzan’s block on Daps Dapol.
Yet, the Tornadoes swiftly dashed the Defenders’ hopes with Bautista and Adorador’s precise cross-court and off-speed attacks, securing the 11th-place finish for Foton in the conference, ending at 26-24.
After a significant deficit in the second set, 13-25, Foton regrouped and took command in the third set, sealing it with a remarkable 6-1 finishing burst. Adorador played a pivotal role in this turnaround, contributing three crucial points to transform a 19-20 deficit into a 25-21 victory.
Rodriguez displayed her prowess in the first set, spearheading Foton’s comeback when they trailed by as much as five points, 6-11. She tallied six of her 12 points in the extended first set, which ended 26-24 in favor of the Tornadoes.
Gerflor’s quartet of double-digit scorers was led by Dorog and Alyssa Bertolano, both contributing 15 points each, followed by Ranya Musa and Ethan Arce with 12 and 11 points, respectively. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)