DINDIN Santiago led the way as usual as Petron salvaged fifth place with a 25-22, 25-19, 25-23 win over Cagayan Valley on Wednesday in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at Cuneta Astrodome.
The former National University star, the Most Valuable Player front-runner, had 30 points from 21 spikes, six blocks and three service aces for the Blaze Spikers.
Despite getting the services of Santiago, Petron only managed to match its fifth-place finish in the PSL Grand Prix last year.
The 6-foot-2 Santiago posted a league-record 37 points in her PSL debut and several times scored over 30, but the other Blaze Spikers failed to deliver when the former Lady Bulldog needed significant contributions.
Petron lost to AirAsia and Generika-Army, with Santiago scoring 17 points both times.
“Si Dindin naman ’yan ang character niya eh, so happy naman ako, ’di bumababa sa 30 ang score niya,” said Coach George Pascua.
After Petron took Santiago as top pick in the rookie draft and seeing the squad do well in practice, Pascua believed they could make it to the finals. But they fell way short.
“Not bad na rin (fifth place) pero kasi based sa ensayo namin ang expectation ko Finals,” he said.
Janine Marciano and Aiza Maizo came up with 17 and 14 points, respectively for Cagayan, which finished in sixth place after a fourth place finish in the PSL Grand Prix.