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Sports

Tornadoes weather Meralco side, seal last seat

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Foton fended off a fierce Meralco challenge as it eked out a come-from-behind 25-18, 18-25, 14-25, 25-16, 15-8 victory yesterday to clinch the last semifinal berth in the 2015 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

Lindsay Stalzer exploded with 24 hits while Jaja Santiago and Kathleen Messing scattered 14 and 13 points, respectively, to help power the Tornadoes to their fifth win against three defeats that booked them a spot in the knockout round.

Petron and Cignal, both toting 6-2 slates, and Philips Gold, with a 5-2 card, took the first three semis slots.

Foton coach Maria Ponce de Leon said it was the team’s aggressive play in the final two sets that helped them get past the tough Power Spikers.

“We lost concentration in the second and third sets but we made up for it by playing aggressive in the last two,” said de Leon.

Meralco fell to 0-8.

But for a while, the Power Spikers, behind Nicole Alessi, appeared headed to snapping a long spell when it took the second and third sets after dropping the opener.

But Meralco failed to sustain its charge as Foton, with the power-hitting Stalzer, Santiago and Messing combining, regained its bearing to dominate the fourth before re-stamping its class in the decider.

Foton thus made its first semis stint after finishing dead last in this same conference last year.

De Leon, however, said the Tornadoes will still go all-out to sweep their last two games for the momentum and confidence needed in the next phase.

“We’ll definitely go for it because I want us to play in the semis on a winning feeling,” said de Leon, whose wards will next face the also-ran RC Cola-Air Force Raiders and the fancied Petron Blaze Spikers.

ACIRC

BUT MERALCO

COLA-AIR FORCE RAIDERS

DE LEON

FOTON

GRAND PRIX

JAJA SANTIAGO AND KATHLEEN MESSING

LINDSAY STALZER

MARIA PONCE

MERALCO

POWER SPIKERS

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