MANILA, Philippines – The defending champion Foton Tornadoes showed off their fearsome form with a 25-19, 25-14, 25-16 demolition of Cignal HD in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at the General Trias Sports Center in Cavite on Tuesday night.
Lindsay Stalzer led the Tornadoes in scoring, but every player made significant contributions for the semis-bound Foton team. This was their eighth win in nine games, and they are now just one win away from clinching the top seed in the semifinals which starts on December 3 at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Albay.
While Foton and Petron have gained at outright semifinals berth, F2 Logistics, Cignal, Generika, and RC Cola-Army will slug it out in the knockout playoffs on Saturday.
"This is going to be tough from here," said Foton coach Moro Branislav, whose wards will face the Tri-Activ Spikers for the right to gain the top spot in the semifinals.
"We used this game as a preparation for the semifinals. It's a knockout format, so we really have to be prepared and be more careful," he added.
Branislav insists they are not pressured to win their final game against Petron, as both teams are already safely through to the semis.
"I don't see the reason why we should go all out in that game," he said. "We should use it to prepare us, instead."
Stalzer had 17 points, 15 of which came on kills, while Maika Ortizz tallied 11 markers. Jaja Santiago and Ariel Usher each had eight, while Dindin Santiago-Manabat added seven markers.
"Everybody stepped up for this game," said Branislav. "They showed that they are ready for the semifinals."
Save from import Laura Schaudt, who had 12 points, no player from Cignal reached double-digits.
To make matters worse for the HD Spikers, celebrated import Lynda Morales was declared out for the season today due to a fractured foot.
With the setback, Cignal fell to 1-8, and could slide all the way down to sixth place depending on the result of its game against RC Cola-Army on Thursday.
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