Cohesive Foton out to stop Petron’s super import
The Petron Tri-Activ Spikers may have a super import on their side, but reclaiming the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) title is not going to be a walk in the park facing a much cohesive and solid Foton Tornadoes in the Grand Prix Finals.
Despite a tough semis against RC Cola which ended in fifth set, the defending champion Tornadoes have the upperhand going into the best-of-three championship series with its deeper player rotation.
Foton’s scorers’ list does not end up with imports Arielle Usher, Lindsay Stalzer and a more experienced Jaja Santiago since the lethal UST duo of EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina are also capable of scoring in binges.
In addition, Foton Tornadoes also have Maika Ortiz, Dindin Santiago and Angeli Araneta as supports who are all solid blockers.
As powerful as her serves, setter Rhea Dimaculangan could dictate the result of the Finals. Her familiarity with her teammates could easily outwit Petron tossers April Rose Hingpit and Grace Masangkay.
On the Petron side, import Stephanie Niemer should have reliable backups in order to dethrone Foton.
All throughout the conference, Niemer had been carrying most of the scoring load for her team. If they want to beat Foton, former UAAP champion Aiza Maizo-Pontillas should exceed her average of 10 points per game.
Foton’s lone loss came at the expense of Petron in the second round when the younger Santiago missed their game due to her Japan training with National U. But more than Jaja’s absence, Foton’s waterloo all season long has been its service reception.
Hingpit should also try to get her other teammates involved rather than giving all the ball to Niemer.
The PSL Grand Prix Finals will begin on Thursday. (Alex Cerado)