Santiago sisters explode for 48 hits as Foton ends first-round with rout of Cignal

Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat towered over their foes, as the Foton Tornadoes muscled out a hard-fought four-setter win against Cignal, 25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19, on Tuesday in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019 at the Bacoor Strike Gym.

The Santiago sisters were in full action, stepping up big in the last three frames and conspiring for 47 big points to power the Blue Energy to its third straight win.

Jaja came through with 22 kills and seven blocks for a game-high 29-point output as her squad wrapped up the first-round on a strong note despite a patchy start for a 4-3 card.

Dindin also provided big punches as she connected 19 markers built on 15 attacks and four aces for the Aaron Velez-mentored spikers, who went from a three-game skid start to a three-game winning streak heading into the next round.

Jovelyn Gonzaga dropped 15 hits off 13 attacks, a block and an ace for Cignal, who dropped to 2-4 on a four-game losing skid.

For the younger sister, what changed the dynamics for Foton Tornadoes was their services and first ball passes in the final three sets, thus allowing the team to run its offense.

“Siguro ‘yung adjustment namin ng second and third set is ‘yung service receive namin kasi noong first set halos marami kaming error ans maraming na-ace ‘yung kalaban,” said Jaja.

“So noong second set, sabi ng coach namin na kailangan namin ng kumpyansa sa service. Kailangan bigyan ng karga ‘yung service namin.”

Trailing by four in the fourth, Jaia took over and fueled a 9-0 run for the Blue Energy, shifting the gears as they stepped on the gas and never looked back to bag the win.

Coming into the latter part of the match, Jaja said she felt no hesitation hitting the ball and scoring point after point for the team so as to give her teammates confidence to light up the scoreboard themselves.

“Noong first set parang wala ‘ata akong bola no’ n, parang naba-block ako. ‘Pag binigyan ulit ako nang binigyan, wala ng hesitation, wala ng doubt. Papaluin ko nang papaluin kahit may blocker o wala. Kailangan mapatay ko para matulungan ko at mabigyan ko ng kumpyansa ‘yung buong team,” she said.

(Image from Facebook/Philippine Superliga)

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