JAJA Santiago is pleased with the opening-day performance of the new-look Foton Tornadoes and vows to be even better as they bid for the Super Liga All Filipino crown.
Santiago feels they lost quite a bit of firepower with the exit of Grethcel Soltones, a key player in the Tornadoes’ third place finish in the 2017 Invitational, and Cherry Rondina, a member of the team that won the 2016 Grand Prix.
But newcomers Heather Guino-o and CJ Rosario proved their worth in the straight-sets win in their All-Filipino opener against Cherrylume and Santiago is confident they will contend for the title.
"Nasa rebuilding stage po 'yung team namin kasi maraming nawala sa amin," said the National University standout.
"Tingin ko 'yung ma-eexpect sa amin ng mga tao, maglalaro kami with all our hearts."
"Ipapakita namin na kahit nandoon kami sa rebuilding stage, kaya namin i-angat 'yung team namin para makasabay kami sa mga kalaban. 'Yug goal namin, kukunin namin step-by-step," Santiago said.
Santiago actually played limited minutes in the win, given by Foton coach Moro Branislav some rest following her stint with Rebisco PSL in the Asian Women's Club Championship in Kazakhstan.
Still she wound up with a team high nine points.
"You will see a new Foton. It's completely new. We will see the situation," said Branislav.