Defending champion Foton Tornadoes have faced a familiar 0-2 hole situation in the Game 1 of the Philippine SuperLiga Grand Prix Finals, so it wasn’t a shock anymore when they came back to steal the win after stepping on the gas in last three sets of Game 1.
According to American import Ariel Usher, their same experience in the semifinals helped them overcome another deflating deficit this time against their Finals rivals Petron Blaze Spikers.
Just last Saturday, RC-Cola Army Troopers shocked Foton when they took the first two sets of their semis match in Legazpi City but the Tornadoes managed to turn things around in a true display of character and championship heart.
“I kind of got back to that because in the first two games we were so close it’s not that they blew us out of the water, they were really close,” Usher told Fox Sports after helping the Tornadoes get that Finals opener win at the San Juan Arena.
“That was kind of in the back of my mind, okay this kind of happened with RC, let’s see how our team stays composed and let’s see how we come out of it,” she said.
Usher scored 19 points in her Finals debut, but said the experience could have been better if they have avoided such a slow start.
“It could have been better if we didn’t go to five. That was awesome, obviously we didn’t want it that way going five, we should’ve started out a lot stronger, it was just awesome to be a part of that whole comeback,”she said.
Usher said there was never any fear when Foton was buried by two sets because she feels very confident of their capabilities as a team. Her faith on her team was aptly rewarded in the end.
“I’ve never been on a team like this where I’m not really worried if were down 0-2, I believe in every single girl on this team and I know that I have their backs and they have mine. where gonna do what we need to and come together to win,” she said.
The 6-foot-1 import though warned her team not to be too complacent and allow Petron to have that advantage again as they try to finish the series on Saturday and secure the back-to-back title of the season-ending conference.
“We really need to push ourselves to start a lot stronger, we can’t allow Petron to have breathing room like they had today. They have a lot of confidence going 0-2. We need to start a lot stronger,” Usher said. – By John Chester Fajardo
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