MANILA, Philippines – Foton swept past Marinerang Pilipina, 25-15, 29-27, 25-14 to end the preliminary round of the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on a high note on Tuesday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
The Tornadoes finally snapped a three-game losing skid, with sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat scoring 16 points each.
Foton sent the Lady Skippers to a 0-14 record in the tournament.
Manabat earned Player of the Game honors with 13 kills, two aces and a block, while Santiago nailed 14 kills and a pair of blocks.
"Our service-receive worked well. That has been our problem for the past games. We are good in attacking and blocking but service-receive is still the key to win games," said Manabat.
"Heading into the quarterfinals, service-receive will still be our focus because when you have a good service-receive, attacking, blocking and the rest follow," she added.
Mina Aganon and Elaine Kasilag had 9 and 8 points, respectively, while Gyzelle Sy had 20 excellent sets on top of 5 markers.
Eya Laure, the reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year who replaced the injured Maika Ortiz, formally made her PSL debut for Foton but only played late in the second and third sets. The University of Santo Tomas star finished with 2 points, while still adjusting to the team's system.
The Tornadoes finished the elimination round with an 8-6 win-loss record, tied with idle Generika-Ayala. However, Foton won the quotient with 25 points, ahead of the Lifesavers' 23.
Foton can secure the No. 3 seed if Cignal loses to F2 Logistics in the second match of the day. That sets them up for a quarterfinals showdown with No. 6 PLDT on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
If Cignal upsets F2 Logistics, the HD Spikers will top the quotient and claim the third spot, dropping Foton to No. 4. That means the Tornadoes will play Generika-Ayala in the quarterfinals.
Foton dominated the first and third sets, but struggled in the second frame wherein they squandered a 24-21 advantage. Sy would tie the set at 27, before a Santiago kill put Foton at set point once more. An attack error by the Lady Skippers handed the Tornadoes the 2-0 lead.
Dimdim Pacres and Judith Abil combined for 17 points for Marinerang Pilipina, which now heads to a quarterfinal battle with No. 1 Petron (13-1) in the knockout quarterfinals on Thursday.
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