FOTON pulled off a dramatic comeback from two-sets down against Petron, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-9, on Thursday to move on the verge of a second successive championship in the Philippine Super Liga.
Lindsay Stalzer brought Tornadoes back to life in a game that looked a foregone conclusion after two sets, dealing Petron a dispiriting defeat at The Arena in San Juan.
Stalzer was at his best in a closing 12-1 run that enabled Foton to rebound from a 3-8 deficit and move on the brink of wrapping up the heated best-of-three finals.
Game Two is set on Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
“At this moment (after five sets) Foton is a better team and this is the finals and normally as you can see, I respect Petron they are a complete team but Foton did not start good and that gave Petron a chance,” said Foton coach Moro Branislav.
“This is an important match for Foton and for Petron but for us we need to win one more match to finish this (series),” he added.
Ariel Usher contributed 19 points for Foton, while Jaja Santiago, who hurt his foot midway through the second set but immediately got back in the game, added seven markers.
Petron import Stephanie Niemer made 32 points, while Molina and Serena Warner chipped in 10 markers apiece.
“This is the Finals and we’ll see what will happen in the next match but in my opinion my team played better today,” said Branislav.