F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus hopes to end his search for an elusive Philippine Super Liga title with a win against Foton on Saturday, and has one particular mission in mind: stop the deadly duo of Jaja Santiago and Rhea Dimaculangan.
The Cargo Movers survived a fiery attack from the Santiago-led Tornadoes, 25-20, 25-14, 9-25, 20-25, 15-10, on Thursday night at The Arena in San Juan.
The 6-foot-5 Santiago scored on all angles with 17 points from 35 attempts and for the veteran coach, it was Foton’s seasoned setter Dimaculangan who brought out Santiago’s full potential.
“Siguro nakapag-adjust na siya sa setter kasi hindi naman biru-biro si Rhea eh ‘di ba? Isa naman sa pinakamagaling na setter si Rhea dito sa Pilipinas,” said de Jesus, who said that he was never surprised of what he’s seeing on the improvement of Santiago.
“So kayang laruin ni Rhea ‘yung klase ni Jaja (na spiker) lalo pa ‘yung ganoon na height, napaka-imposible na hindi malaro ‘yun,” he added. “Siguro ‘yung potential ni Jaja nailabas ni Rhea.”
Dimaculangan had 26 of the team’s 27 excellent sets in a match that took two hours and 14 minutes to finish.
But despite the Santiago-Dimaculangan connection, de Jesus hopes that his middles Majoy Baron and Mika Reyes and the rest of the team will not let their guards down.
“So sa next game, mas kakapitan namin kasi binigyan na kami ng chance manalo ngayon so sana mas magtyaga pa ang mga bata next game,” he said.