Big Move: Foton unleashes Jaja Santiago, the outside hitter

As Foton bounced back with a big win in the PSL All-Filipino Conference, coach Vilet Ponce de Leon unleashed a new and potent weapon: 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago as one of the Tornadoes’ outside hitters. 

With Santiago contributing 16 points in Foton’s 4-set comeback against Generika, Ponce de Leon said it was a ploy they have planned for even before the tournament started.

“Our team kasi maraming players that can do a lot. Not just one position, not just the offense, sa defense, not just sa setter,” she said. “We try to maximize kung ano yung mga potentials nila.”

“We are trying to get them ready sa mas matitindi. Kasi talaga pag wala ka nang mapuntahan na solution, you have to take the risk of putting other people sa ibang position. So i-shushuffle mo lang siya. Good thing we are doing it in practice and na-aapply din namin sa laro,” she added.

The strategy apparently worked, as the Tornadoes battled from a deficit to steal the third set behind the efforts of Cherry Rondina, who finished with 21 points, and Santiago.

Ponce de Leon said Foton quickly learned lessons from their sweep defeat against Petron last Saturday.

“Nakita kasi nila yung effect kung hindi sila magiging ganun. Maganda nga na natalo kami nung first game so ma-aga aga yung kalabit samin na kailangan gumising,” she said. — By Joyce Palad