Reigning champion Foton expectedly had an easy time bouncing off a Grethcel Soltones-less Iriga City, 25-10, 25-23, 25-19, on Tuesday in the Chooks to-Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Sara Klisura of Serbia and skipper Jaja Santiago powered the Tornadoes to the win and remain undefeated in four outings in this tourney bankrolled by Cignal, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller, Grand Sport, Rebisco, Island Rose, Cloudfone, UCPB Gen and Asics.
Klisura paced the assault with 10 kills, a block and an ace for a total of 12 points while Santiago contributed 11 points.
The Philippine Superliga team owners , in an emergency meeting yesterday morning, unanimously voted to deny the appeal by Team Iriga for reconsideration of Grethcel Soltones’ one-year ban and P50,000 fine as penalties for playing in an unsanctioned match outside of the PSL.
The vote was 7-0, upholding the league’s decision to ban and fine Soltones, who should have been under contract with Team Iriga for one year.
Team Iriga, however, does not have a contract yet with Soltones early into the season-ending conference, to the dismay of league officials who have imposed a rule on all teams to sign their players to a minimum of one-year contract on a one-league policy, meaning players could not play outside of the PSL while they are under contract with their respective teams.
Team Iriga could not vote during the deliberation.
Guest team Victoria Sports- University of Santo Tomas also could not vote.
Soltones will be required to pay the fine under league rules.
“The league and the team owners do not want this to happen to Soltones, but we have to honor and follow league rules,” PSL President Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara said. “All the PSL players are under contract with their respective squads and they follow our rules. No player is exempt from them.”
Foton head coach Moro Branislav admitted that the Tornadoes relaxed a bit in the second set before they went for the kill in the deciding set.
“We were a little easy in the second set. We relaxed which is very difficult. It was good thing the local and foreign players jelled in the deciding set to win the match,” Branislav said.
Branislav added that he was impressed with the performance of local players Maika Ortiz and Ivy Perez, who delivered bigtime down the stretch.
“I’m very happy these local players finished the game very seriously. Serious plays, serious finish. They may have had two to three mistakes, but they were okay, he added.”
Serbian Tamara Kmezic, the tallest import in the league, fired 17 points off 15 kills and a pair of service aces while Japanese Saam Miyagawa had 11 markers for the Lady Oragons, who fell to a 1-1 win-loss card.