SHOPINAS.COM survived Foton, 22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 17-15, on Monday to set up a title showdown with unbeaten Petron in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Paneng Mercado scored 24 points, Cha Cruz had 21 and Kim Dy added 12 markers for the Lady Clickers, who needed two hours and 26 minutes to finish the match.
It will be a rematch of sort in the finals, with the souped-up Petron squad taking on a Shopinas side featuring players from PSL Grand Prix losing finalist Generika.
The opener of the best-of-three Finals is set on May 11 at Imus City Sports Complex in Cavite.
“Goal namin makapasok sa Finals,” said Shopinas.com coach Ramil de Jesus. “Ayaw bumitaw ng mga bata. Ngayong dumating na kami sa Finals targetin naman nila ’yung manalo ng championship.”
De Jesus, who reached the finals for the third straight conference, admitted Foton seemed to be more determined.
“Mas gusto manalo ng Foton,” said the veteran mentor. “Hanggang sa fifth set mataas adrenaline ng kalaban sa breaks na lang talaga nagkatalo.”
Shopinas.com dominated the net with 13 blocks against five by Foton and registered more excellent digs (62-53). The Lady Clickers also had 51 perfect receptions against 31 by the Tornadoes.
“Siguro pagod na rin sila Pam Lastimosa and Nicole Tiamzon sa haba ng game mostly sila naman ang umaatake sa kabila,” said de Jesus.
Tiamzon had 22 points for Foton, Lastimosa scored 20 and Patty Orendain added 18 for Tornadoes, who will face Philips Gold in the battle for third.