Santiago shines as Petron bounces back against Cignal
MANILA, Philippines - Dindin Santiago unloaded 19 kills and finished with 24 hits as Petron rebounded from back-to-back setbacks with a 25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19 victory over Cignal in the PLDT Home-Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference volleyball tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome last night.
Santiago, held to 17 markers in their losses to the Generika Army Lady Troopers and the AirAsia Flying Spikers, regained her fierce form to spearhead the Blaze Spikers’ romp for a 4-2 card at the end of the elims.
Petron actually finished tied for first with Generika Army, RC Cola Air Force and AirAsia but the Troopers and the Raiders took the two outright semifinal berths with superior points ratio.
The Blaze Spikers will thus take on No. 6 PLDT Home TVolution while the Flying Spikers face off with No. 5 Cagayan Valley Rising Suns in the quarterfinal round starting Sunday.
“I like the way we performed tonight,” said Petron coach George Pascua. “I told the girls that we need this game very badly, not just because of what’s at stake but also because we need to regain our confidence for the quarterfinals.”
Sandra Delos Santos backed Santiago with 11 points while Mayette Zapanta and Carmina Aganon combined for 13 markers.
With Santiago on the firing end, the Blaze Spikers shook off a poor start in the fourth set to claim a five-point lead, 18-13. The HD Spikers tried to mount a comeback and pulled within, 17-18, but Santiago came through with back-to-back kills to seal the victory.
Honey Royse Tubino finished with 22 points while Norie Jane Diaz had 11 markers for the HD Spikers, who lost their momentum after setter Arianne Argarin fell down with a spine injury in the fourth frame.
Cignal, which finished runner-up in the last two tournaments, bowed out of the race with only a single win in six outings in the event backed by PLDT Home DSL and backed by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller Tapes, Jinling Sports Equipment, LGR, Bench and Healthway Medical.