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Jaja, Dindin, Buitre power Tornadoes past tough Lady Realtors

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BACOOR CITY — Foton recovered from a sluggish start before eking out a come-from-behind 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-4 win over Sta. Lucia in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference at the Strike Gym here.

Jaja Santiago, substitute spiker Marian Buitre and Dindin Santiago-Manabat powered the Tornadoes to kick off their second-round campaign on a high note in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport.

Santiago delivered 22 points built on 14 kills, six blocks and two service aces while Buitre, who was fielded in the third set, showed her worth with 15 points off eight attacks, five aces and two blocks.

Manabat, for her part, added 13 markers.

Foton tightened its hold of the solo fourth place with its fourth straight victory to improve to 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 waxed hot in the deciding frame with an 11-2 start to complete the huge comeback win 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 for a week due to patellar tendinitis on her left knee.