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Foton stuns Petron in PSL Grand Prix finals opener

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Foton moved to within a win from the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title after shocking defending champion Petron, 14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22, in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals at the Cuneta Astrodome on Thursday night.

The Lady Tornadoes, who lost both their two elimination round meetings against the Blaze Spikers, bucked a first set defeat and swept the next three frames to pull the stunner.

Foton got into the groove in the second set, opening a 19-9 lead over Petron behind the triple threat of Jaja Santiago, Lindsay Stalzer, and Katie Messing.

Dindin Manabat and Rupia Inck ignited a late rally by the Blaze Spikers to come to within two, 20-22, but Messing and Santiago delivered the final points for the Lady Tornadoes to take the set.

Foton then took control of the last two sets as Santiago, Stalzer, and Messing led the team's charge.

Stalzer led the Lady Tornadoes with 25 points off 23 spikes, while Messing added 17. Santiago finished with ten with two blocks, both came her older sister Manabat, who led the Blaze Spikers' locals with 16.

Inck top scored for Petron with 21 markers.

Foton can complete the sweep in Game 2 Monday also at the Cuneta Astrodome, while Petron needs to take the Monday win to force a final showdown on Saturday at the same venue.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno