BACOOR CITY — JAJA Santiago erupted with 29 points to lift Foton in beating Cignal 25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19, for its third consecutive win in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the Bacoor Strike Gym here.
The 6-foot-5 middle blocker unloaded 22 kills and seven blocks to carry the Tornadoes with an improved 4-3 win-loss record at No.4, while sending the HD Spikers to their fourth straight defeat.
The former National University Lady Bulldog, who played for Ageo Medics in Japan last year, brought the momentum to Foton after losing the first set and erased a 15-21 deficit in the second frame to take control of the remainder of the match.
“Nagstep up talaga si Jaja,” said Foton head coach Aaron Velez. “Mas nakita ko na yung maturity ni Jaja matagal ko na hinihintay yun pero alam kong marami pa kaming dapat pagtrabahuan pa.”
Jaja’s sister, Dindin Santiago-Manabat was also instrumental with 15 kills and four service aces for 19 points laced with 19 digs. Mina Aganon and Maika Ortiz added seven markers apiece, while Jen Reyes protected the floor with 34 digs and 10 excellent receptions.
“Sa akin yung commitment ng mga players pag nakikita ko talaga yung role player na talagang committed sila sa gagawin nila mas maganda pinapakita namin,” added Velez.
But the Foton coach is not yet convinced with their slow start in the first round.
“Marami pa kaming tatrabahuin. Yung relationship namin as coaches and players kailangan pa namin lalo laliman,” Velez said. “In terms of skills, kailangan pa namin doblehin yung pinakita namin.”
Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga showed the vintage form of their dynamic duo with Daquis leading the way with 20 points, while Gonzaga adding 16 points including 19 digs.
Alohi Robins-Hardy had 18 excellent sets and six points, while Jheck Dionela made 29 digs and 18 excellent receptions only for Cignal to drop to 2-4 card.