Foton bounced back from cold start to book a thrilling 19-25, 20-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-7 victory over Generika-Ayala in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference last night at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
With Jaja Santiago spewing fire, the Tornadoes pounced hard on the Lifesavers’ shaky defense in the third and fourth sets before going for the kill in the fifth to preserve their unblemished slate in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Belo, Rebisco and Gold’s Gym with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
With the victory, Foton remains on top of the team standing with a 5-0 card, putting it a win shy of sweeping the preliminaries and grabbing the top seed in the crossover quarterfinals.
But before the Tornadoes could complete their mission, they still have to overcome powerhouse Petron when the league rolls to Batangas City Convention Center in Batangas City tomorrow.
The Blaze Spikers are still engaged in a tight battle with Cignal as of press time.
Santiago, who is part of the national women’s team that will campaign in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games, had another impressive all-around performance with 19 kills, five aces and two blocks for 26 points.
It was the highest offensive output for the 6-foot-5 Santiago since torching newcomer Cherrylume for 35 points last June 13.
EJ Laure also had a big game with 20 points while another national team mainstay in Maika Ortiz chipped in nine markers for the Tornadoes, who started out flat before making some key adjustments in the third sets.
“We always have problem whenever we face Generika,” said Foton coach Moro Branislav. “That’s why we started out slow. We addressed the problem first before we can gain our focus.”
Fiola Ceballos had 18 points while Patty Jane Orendain and Gen Casugod conspired for a total of 28 markers for the Lifesavers, who had no answer to the hot smashes of Santiago and Laure midway of the fourth set where the Tornadoes turned a 7-all deadlock into a 21-15 advantage.
The Lifesavers tried to recollect themselves in the fifth set, but Santiago was simply too dominant to carry the Tornadoes to a 10-4 lead to seal the victory.
Generika fell to 2-3 mark.