MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion Foton Tornadoes made quick work of the Grethcel Soltones-less Iriga City, 25-10, 25-23, 25-19, in the Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Sara Klisura of Serbia and skipper Jaja Santiago ensured that the Tornadoes stay unbeaten in four games, strengthening their grip on the No. 1 spot in the league standings.
Klisura paced the assault with 10 kills, a block and an ace for a total of 12 points, while Santiago contributed 11 points.
Iriga City was playing without Soltones, after PSL owners unanimously voted to deny the team's reconsideration of her one-year ban and P50,000 fine as penalties for playing in the PVL All-Star Game.
"The league and the team owners do not want this to happen to Soltones, but we have to honor and follow league rules," PSL president Ramon 'Tats' Suzara said. "All the PSL players are under contract with their respective squads and they follow our rules. No player is exempt from them."
Foton head coach Moro Branislav admitted that the Tornadoes relaxed a bit in the second set before they went for the kill in the deciding set.
"We were a little easy in the second set. We relaxed which is very difficult. It was good thing the local and foreign players jelled in the deciding set to win the match," Branislav said.
Branislav added that he was impressed with the performance of local players Maika Ortiz and Ivy Perez, who delivered big time down the stretch.
"I'm very happy these local players finished the game very seriously. Serious plays, serious finish. They may have had two to three mistakes, but they were okay, he added."
Serbian Tamara Kmezic, the tallest import in the league, fired 17 points off 15 kills and a pair of service aces while Japanese Saam Miyagawa had 11 markers for the Lady Oragons, who fell to a 1-1 win-loss card.
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