FOTON bucked a lethargic start before outlasting PLDT Home Fibr, 16-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, in their knockout quarterfinals duel to advance to the semifinals round of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The Tornadoes needed a wake-up call before getting their acts together to dominate the Power Hitters in the remainder of the match and make their return to the semifinals for the first time since last year’s Grand Prix.
Sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat combined for 35 points to end their team’s one-year semifinals drought.
Jaja delivered 14 kills, five blocks and an ace for 20 points, while Dindin had 15 points off nine spikes, three blocks and as many as aces.
“Nandyan na talaga yung leadership ni Dindin pati ni Jaja pero ang pinakanagustuhan ko kanina they’re very patient throughout the match,” said Foton head coach Aaron Velez. “At the same time the other players got involved.”
Marian Buitre also stepped up with 12 points. Mina Aganon had six markers, 13 digs and seven receptions, while Gyselle Sy dished out 21 excellent sets.
“I just wanna appreciate and be grateful doon sa mga bata sila talaga ang nagpakahirap kung paano namin daanan yung two-round (preliminaries) and now quarterfinals. The ladies really stepped up,” Velez added.
Foton will face either F2 Logistics and Sta. Lucia, who will clash in a quarterfinals duel on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The semifinals begin on Tuesday next week in Muntinlupa City.
PLDT failed to utilize its hot start and gave up 30 errors.
Grethcel Soltones unleashed 22 points including 18 excellent receptions, while Jerrili Malabanan and Shola Alvarez added 13 and 10 markers, respectively, as the Power Hitters campaign ended.