Foton turns back Sta. Lucia for 4th straight win

BACOOR CITY, Philippines – Foton recovered from a sluggish start and eked out a come-from-behind five-set win over Sta. Lucia in the Philippine SuperLiga All-Filipino Conference at the Strike Gym here on Tuesday, July 16. 

Jaja Santiago, Marian Buitre, and Dindin Santiago-Manabat powered the Tornadoes to an 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-4 victory to kick off their second-round campaign on a high note.

Santiago delivered 22 points built on 14 kills, 6 blocks, and 2 service aces, while Buitre – who was fielded in the 3rd set – showed her worth with 15 points off 8 attacks, 5 aces and 2 blocks.

Manabat, for her part, added 13 markers.

Foton tightened its hold of solo 4th place with its fourth straight victory to improve to a 5-3 win-loss record.

"We were looking for the right combination in the first part of the game that's why we struggled a bit," Foton head coach Aaron Velez said.

"I'm thankful that Marian stepped up and everybody was really committed to comeback and win this game."

With Santiago at the helm, the Tornadoes took control in the deciding set with an 11-2 start to complete the huge comeback triumph that sent the Lady Realtors to their seventh consecutive loss.

"Our motivation is how to be accountable. We struggled in our passing at some point of the game. But they played with accountability and like there's no tomorrow," Velez added.

Pam Lastimosa put up 13 points and 15 digs for Sta. Lucia.

Rachel Austero had 11, while Amanda Villanueva added 10 markers, including 12 excellent receptions as their team dropped to 1-7 card.

Sta. Lucia head coach Babes Castillo didn't field MJ Phillips, while libero Alex Bollier is out for at least a week due to patellar tendinitis on her left knee. – Rappler.com