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BIÑAN CITY, Laguna – Foton Pilipinas had to sweat in saving seventh place through a hard-earned 25-17, 30-28, 25-23 straight sets conquest of T. Grand of Chinese Taipei yesterday in the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena.
The Tornadoes had a strong start but had to earn each point in the last two sets before crushing the tough-fighting Chinese, ending their campaign on a winning note in this prestigious continental battle organized by the Philippine Superliga, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas and the city of Biñan headed by Congresswoman Len Alonte.
Earlier, Sarmayeh Bank of Iran dominated Thongtin Lienvietpost Bank of Vietnam, 25-23, 25-17, 25-23, to claim 5th place in this tourney bankrolled by SMM Sport, Nike, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Foton, BMW, Rexona, PLDT, Philippine Sports Commission and Price Waterhouse Cooper with Crimson Hotel as official residence and TV5 and SMMTV of Thailand as broadcast partners.
American reinforcements Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher lit the scoreboard, but it was a total team effort on the defensive end that propelled the Philippines to improve on an 8th place finish when Petron campaigned in the tournament’s previous edition in Phu Ly, Vietnam last year.
Stalzer delivered 18 kills while Usher had 13 attacks and two blocks to finish with 15 points for the Tornadoes, who dominated the Taiwanese in attacks, 58-29, and blocks, 7-5.
“I think we were the stronger team today and we were able to control the game right from the start,” said Stalzer, who is also set to power Foton in the PSL Grand Prix that will open on Oct. 18.
Jaja Santiago, who hardly saw action in the third set after the Tornadoes gained total control of the game, admired the fighting spirit of the T. Grand, a team composed of the developmental team of Chinese Taipei.