Tornadoes unleash might vs newcomer

The Philippine Star

Games tomorrow (Malolos Sports Complex)

3 p.m. Cignal vs Sta. Lucia

5 p.m. Foton vs Generika-Ayala

7 p.m. Cocolife vs Petron

MANILA, Philippines - Foton used its power game and experience to blast newcomer Cocolife, 25-16, 25-17, 25-13, yesterday in the Belo-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Veterans Gretchel Soltones and Dindin Manabat led the assault for the Tornadoes, who dominated from start to finish to notch their first win in two games in the tournament sponsored by Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner.

A fresh recruit from San Sebastian, many-time NCAA MVP Soltones fired 10 attack points while Manabat chipped in nine markers for the Tornadoes, who pounced on the Asset Managers’ erratic attacks and sluggish floor defense to dominate.

The Tornadoes had 40 kills while the Asset Managers had only 19.

Foton, which bowed to Cignal on opening day, also finished with 31 digs while Cocolife had 24 despite the backline presence of Denden Lazaro, the former Ateneo star who tallied seven receptions.

Foton coach Moro Branislav said they took advantage of the rawness of Cocolife, a new team which was formed by former Ateneo and La Salle players with the core of reigning NCAA champion Arellano University serving as reinforcements.

“Cocolife is a new team. They have good players, but we are more experienced,” said Branislav, the Serbian guru who steered the Tornadoes to the Grand Prix title last year and a ticket to the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Kazakhstan in May.

Branislav said he is looking forward to their next match against Generika-Ayala tomorrow since this could determine their chances in the short tournament that also has UCPB Gen as official insurance provider and Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner.

“Normally, I like to see how our next match, which is against Generika, would go. In my opinion, there are four teams which can make it to the semifinals – Cignal, Petron, Generika and Foton. If we can win over them on Saturday, that will be very interesting.”

Staring at a 0-2 set deficit, the Asset Managers tried to fight back in the third set as Michele Gumabao and Andrea Marzan delivered a pair of kills to put Cocolife ahead, 6-5.


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