For Dindin Santiago-Manabat, there is no room for complacency this second-round.
Santiago-Manabat and the Foton Tornadoes picked up another win after avenging their first-round loss against Generika Ayala in quick three sets, 25-16, 28-26, 25-15, in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019 earlier.
It was the Blue Energy’s sixth straight victory, further cementing their hold at no. 3 behind the league’s top two squads in F2 Logistics and Petron.
But while this is arguably the best preliminary campaign for Foton in recent memory, Santiago-Manabat said that they can not relax just yet as the tournament is still long.
“Siguro noong first round nag-relax kami kasi siyempre nanalo kami ng first game so naging kumpyansa kami. Then siyempre ngayon second round na, bawal na mag-relax and siyempre kailangan focus kami,” said Santiago-Manabat, who led her team with 18 spikes and a block for 19 points.
Addressing their loss against Generika, where they bowed in four sets, the opposite hitter said that the team is now more focused and determined as compared to last round.
For her, each game from here forward is crucial, and that Foton’s focus has to be intact all throughout especially on improving their first ball passes.
“Every game is importante so kailangan mag-focus lang and focus lang namin kung saan kami weak — service receive, service receive. Paulit-ulit service receive, doon lang kami nagpo-focua and blockings,” she said.
During the 22-23 mark in the second set, Maika Ortiz was assisted off the court after a bad fall.
Despite this, the ladies in blue stayed sharp to thwart the Lifesavers’ surge before re-asserting full control in the third.
This composure, according to Santiago-Manabat, is all because they didn’t let the incident get into their heads. Instead, they used it to take the win and show their love for Ortiz.
“Siyempre ayaw naman namin na nalaglag na nga siya (Ortiz) e ilalaglag pa namin. So kailangan ilaban namin ‘yun e. Siyempre kung love namin ‘yung isa sa team namin ilalaban namin ‘yun,” she said.
Santiago-Manabat and the rest of Foton are up for a bigger challenge as they are set to collide against the still unscathed Cargo Movers on July 25.
(Image from Facebook/Philippine Superliga)