Dindin Manabat of the National Team hammers down the ball over Aerieal Patnongon of Cocolife in the Superliga Invitational.
MANILA, Philippines — Shaq Delos Santos posted a double victory as he guided both the National Team and Petron to impressive wins in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Making their first public appearance for the first time, the Nationals made short work of Cocolife, 25-13, 25-17, 25-11, before the Blaze Spikers walloped UP-United Auctioneers, Inc., 25-9, 25-16, 25-17, in the second game.
Despite a depleted roster, the women’s national team was still as good as advertised as sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat did most of the damage, trouncing the Asset Managers in just 71 minutes.
Santiago topscored with 17 points built on 13 kills and four service aces, including five receptions, while her elder sister Manabat nailed 12 hits to deliver Philippines’ first win in its three no-bearing matches in the midseason conference.
Setter Kim Fajardo paced the team with 29 excellent receptions on top of five hits while Mylene Paat was instrumental with seven points and 13 digs and skipper Aby Maraño had five aces for six points.
“We’re still adjusting and we missed a lot of key players but the important thing all the players delivered for us,” said national head coach Delos Santos, who missed 10 other pool players.
“Even if it was a game without any bearing, we’re still thankful that we won our first game.”
Libero Denden Lazaro, who protected the floor with 16 digs and eight excellent receptions, opted to play for the national team against her mother club, Cocolife, as Dawn Macandili did not play to complete her academic requirements.