If there is a team who knows what a poor service reception could cost, that will be Foton. Opposite spiker Dindin Santiago-Manabat surely knows this.
Santiago Manabat and the Tornadoes returned to their winning ways after suffering three consecutive losses as they swept Marinerang Pilipina, 25-15, 29-27, 25-14, in the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019 earlier.
With the win, Foton managed to surpass Generika by virtue of points to gain momentary hold of no. 3 with a 8-6 tally heading into the quarterfinals of the all-local tourney.
It was a great improvement for the Tornadoes, who only scored three wins in 14 outings during the Grand Prix conference earlier this year.
For Santiago-Manabat, a key factor to this achievement is their improved service reception, which has been the chink in their armor that their opponents have wisely took advantage of.
“Siguro nakapag-adjust kami sa service receive namin kasi ‘yun lang at ‘yun lang din kasi ang kulang sa amin. Malakas kami sa attacks, nagagamit namin blockings namin and defense namin sa ilalim,” said the opposite hitter, who scattered game-high 16 hits.
True enough, Foton’s arsenal is rather lethal with the presence of Santiago-Manabat, Jaja Santiago, Elaine Kasilag, Marianne Buitre and Eya Laure, who had just debuted for the team in lieu of injured Maika Ortiz.
But while they are strong in terms of offense, the Tornadoes struggled with their first ball in the past despite having Jen Reyes and Shaya Adorador in the lineup.
Santiago-Manabat emphasized the importance of having good service receive. Without it, according to her, nothing will go right inside the court.
“Paulit-ulit, ulit-ulit namjn gagawin service receive kasi ‘yun din naman ‘yung key talaga ng bawat teams and doon lang, ‘yun lang, service receive and susunod lahat,” she said.
With the quarterfinals as the next stop, now more than ever, the National University standout said that they must work doubly hard on their reception and teamwork as they look to put an end to a three-year title drought.
“Kung meron kaming service, meron kaming receive, susunod na ‘yung attack, susunod na ‘yung blocks, and siyempre ‘yung teamwork namin hindi dapat mawala kasi kung lalaban ‘yung isa dapat lumaban ang lahat,” she said.
(Image from Facebook/Philippine SuperLiga)