Save for a tightly-fought second set, the Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy trumped the Marinerang Pilipina Lady Skippers, 25-15, 29-27, 25-14, Tuesday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
The Tornadoes elevated their record to 8-6, ending their 2019 PSL All-Filipino preliminary campaign on a positive note following a three-game losing skid.
Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat-Santiago led all scorers with 16 points apiece. The former had 14 attacks and two blocks while the latter contributed 13 attacks and two aces laced with 11 excellent digs.
Mina Aganon and Elaine Kasilag were also instrumental as they supplied nine and eight markers, respectively.
Meanwhile, the debuting Eya Laure only played sparingly, but she made her presence felt when she first entered the match midway through the second set.
The reigning UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year scored all of her two points in the back-and-forth swing in the said frame. Still, her first-time jitters became evident down the stretch.
With Foton up by a precarious point at 23-24, Laure committed a double contact infraction before Judith Abil netted an ace on her watch.
As the Lady Skippers snatched the lead, the battle-tested troika of Santiago, Santiago-Manabat and Mina Aganon came to the rescue. The Tornadoes would then fend off Marinerang Pilipina for a commanding 2-0 set lead.
Gyzelle Sy tossed 20 excellent sets to help her team notch 50 attack points. Jen Reyes also manned the floor well with 17 excellent digs for Foton, which had a total of 52 digs and 16 receptions.
“Nakapag-adjust kami sa service receive namin kasi yun lang yung kulang samin. Malakas kami sa attacks, nagagamot namin yung blockings namin and defense namin sa ilalim,” said Santiago-Manabat.
On the other hand, the Lady Skippers remained winless in 14 games to close out their prelims bid. They were also not at full strength in the match.
Aside from Chiara Permentilla who sustained a torn ACL injury, Seth Rodriguez and Caitlin Viray were not present. Rodriguez was nursing a Jumper’s knee while Viray was feeling under the weather due to a fever.
Though in a losing cause, Dimdim Pacres and Abil stepped up in their absence. The former topped her team with nine points while the latter lagged a point behind with eight to go along with 15 excellent digs.
Foton will now await the outcome between Cignal and F2 Logistics in the nightcap to determine their standing.
If the Cargo Movers win, then Foton seals solo third. But if F2 Logistics loses, then Cignal takes the spot. Meanwhile, the Lady Skippers will look to topple top-seed Petron in the knockout quarters on Thursday.
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