MALOLOS CITY -- Foton made a short work of winless Marinerang Pilipina, 25-15, 29-27, 25-14, to end the preliminary round on a high note in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Tuesday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.
The Tornadoes finally arrested a three-game skid with sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat delivering 16 points apiece to send the Lady Skippers into a winless campaign in the 14-game preliminaries of this prestigious women's club tourney bankrolled by Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport.
Manabat was named best player of the game 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, who also had 11 excellent digs.
"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."
Wing spikers Mina Aganon and Elaine Kasilag also instrumental with nine and eight points, respectively, as well as setter Gyselle Sy, who had 20 excellent sets on top of five markers.
Eya Laure, who replaced injured Maika Ortiz, also made her PSL debut for Foton, but only played late in the second and third set finishing with two markers as she was obviously still adjusting to the team's system.
Foton finished the elimination round with an 8-6 win-loss record with idle Generika-Ayala, but the Tornadoes won the quotient with 25 points, two markers ahead of the Lifesavers. The Tornadoes secured the no. 3 seed and a quarterfinal date on Thursday with no. 6 PLDT Home Fibr after the Cignal HD Spikers fell to the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in straight sets 18-25, 14-25, 22-25 in the second game. Cignal thus fell to 7-7 while F2 snapped a two-game losing streak to finish the elimination round at 12-2. The Cargo Movers will face no. 7 Sta. Lucia (2-12), while the HD Spikers take on the Lifesavers.
Despite dominating the first and final sets, the Tornadoes struggled to close out the second frame as they squandered a 24-21 lead with the Lady Skippers getting the next three set points. Sy forced another deadlock, 27-all, before Santiago put Foton at set point followed by the Lady Skippers' crucial attack error.
Nobody scored in double figures for Marinerang Pilipina with Dimdim Pacres and Judith Abil leading the way with nine and eight markers, respectively, as they head into a titanic battle with No.1 Petron (13-1) in the knockout quarterfinals also on Thursday.