BACOOR CITY — Jaja Santiago and substitute Marian Buitre lifted Foton in coming back from a two-set deficit to overwhelm skidding Sta. Lucia, 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-4, for its fourth straight win in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the Strike Gym.
Santiago, once again, delivered the goods with 22 points but Foton head coach Aaron Velez found a sparkplug in Buitre from the bench to avoid an upset from the Lady Realtors in two hours and six minutes.
Santiago put up 14 kills, six blocks and two service aces, while Buitre, who was fielded in the third set, showed her worth with 15 points off eight attacks, five aces and two blocks leading the comeback.
“Yung una talaga naghahanap kami ng tamang kombinasyon malaking pasasalamat na nagstep up din si Marian,” Velez said. “Dahil hanap kami ng hanap ng kombinasyon nagcommit yung mga bata na maglaro.”
Dindin Santiago-Manabat was also instrumental with 13 markers as Foton kept its hold of the solo fourth place with its fourth straight victory for an improved 5-3 win-loss record.
After erasing a two-set deficit, the Tornadoes waxed hot in the deciding frame with an 11-2 start led by Santiago and never looked back to complete the huge comeback win that sent the Lady Realtors to their seventh consecutive loss.
“Yung motivation kanina is how to be accountable. Nagkaroon kami ng struggles sa pasa at some point sa laro kailangan lang maging accountable sa gagawin,” Velez said. “Laro na namin ‘to there’s no tomorrow so nung third set naggamble kami ng diskarte, nagstep up naman lahat.”
Pam Lastimosa put up 13 points and 15 digs for Sta. Lucia. Rachel Austero had 11, while Amanda Villanueva added 10 markers including 12 excellent receptions as their team dropped to 1-7 card.
Sta. Lucia head coach Babes Castillo didn’t field MJ Phillips, while libero Alex Bollier is out for at least a week for a week due to patellar tendinitis on her left knee.