THREE-peat seeking Foton came from a set down to turn back Sta. Lucia, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17, to advance to the semifinals of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan on Thursday.
Serbian import Sara Klisura and skipper Jaja Santiago led the way for Foton, which will face Petron in the knockout semifinals on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Tornadoes won their two championships at the expense of the Blaze Spikers.
Klisura dropped 23 points, while Santiago added 21 in a match that took two hours and 13 minutes to finish.
Despite the win, Foton coach Moro Branislav lamented how bad his team played while their opponent performed impressively.
“This is very bad match for Grand Prix today, we play no good,” said the Serbian mentor. “Sta. Lucia one of the best teams. After a bad start and losing Canadian import Marisa Field for a couple of games due to injury, they eventually won (and reached the quarterfinals).”
“I’m very happy that the Grand Prix every year is getting better, (it has) more quality,” he added. “(But) today is a very difficult match against one good team (Sta. Lucia).”
Montenegrin reinforcement Dragana Perunicic had 12 points, six digs and five excellent receptions, while Maika Ortiz also registered 12 markers.
Meanwhile, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, who suffered an ACL injury on her left knee during the Invitational Conference early this year, played sparingly in the second and third sets.
Ukranian import Bohdana Anisova finished with 21 points for Sta. Lucia, while Pam Lastimosa added 12 and Mar-Jana Philips and Field each had 10 markers.