December 26, 2018




Transpiring as the 5th placer on their league’s debut last year, the FOTON Tornadoes triumphed over the Petron Blaze Spikers in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix’s do-or-die Game 3 championship match last December 5 at the Cuneta Astrodome.


In the previous conferences, the FOTON Tornadoes watched as the Petron Blaze Spikers won the title for 2 consecutive years. This season, the Tornadoes flipped the script as they ousted then leading line-up Philips Gold Lady Slammers in the semis which qualified them to proceed to the finals against the reigning Blaze Spikers.


FOTON’s powerhouse was bannered by 6’1 Lindsay Stalzer, 6’4 Katie Messing and 6’4 Jaja Santiago who were all sought-after for their evident sharp hits and staunch blocks. The so-called Three Towers’ exceptional elevation skills versus Petron’s wall-to-wall experience in the court made the championship series a delight to watch.


Following the best-of-three title series, Game 1 went in favour of the Tornadoes after concluding four sets with 14-25, 25-21, 25-19 and 25-22, giving no more than a single set to Petron. The match staggered the opponents as the Tornadoes emerged from being in the 4th place during the semis to roughly beating the defending champs.


Firing up the match, the Blaze Spikers recovered in Game 2 as they finished with a 25-13, 25-21, 23-25 and 26-24 victory – bringing the battle for the championship to a do-or-die match.

After FOTON’s loss in the second game, head coach Ma. Vilet Ponce De Leon assured to surpass the kind of play the team brought off by exerting twice the effort and desire to win.


True enough, Petron’s PSL domination was finally curtailed on Game 3 when the Tornadoes trounced the Blaze Spikers in 3 straight sets with an 18-25, 18-25 and 17-25 win as setter Ivy Perez’s tip clinched the Tornadoes’ most-awaited point.


Team manager Alvin Lu shares that among the factors that led to the success of the team are the program which the team rigorously followed. “We are the only team that did not stop training”, he said. They also invested in equipment to enhance the skills of the players.


Upon the announcement of the new champions, brimming support was shown not only in the stadium, but also in the web as the favourable result circulated in various social networking sites, making “Congrats Foton” trend worldwide. The trophy was received by FOTON’s Team Captain Ivy Remulla. Individual recognitions were also accorded to 3 of FOTON’s team roster. Jaja Santiago was awarded as the 2nd Best Middle Blocker, Ivy Perez as the 1st Best Setter and Lindsay Stalzer as 2015’s Most Valuable Player.


Despite the assailing challenges, the destructive Tornadoes proved that they were destined to raze the Petron Blaze Spikers’ dynasty. Teamwork, dedication and the enduring applause from the crowd equipped the Tornadoes to show prowess and reinforce their defense to finally achieve their purpose – to play as one team, to bring prestige, and to hook the crown that they have always longed for.


The FOTON Tornadoes is a professional women’s volleyball team managed by United Asia Automotive Group Incorporated, the exclusive distributor of FOTON vehicles in the Philippines.