Generika-Ayala pounced hard on a crippled Cignal squad to essay a masterful 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 victory in the penultimate day of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Apr 12 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Imports Darlene Ramdin and Symone Hayden carried the fight for the Lifesavers, who went on to seal the seventh spot in the quarterfinals of this prestigious club tourney backed by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
With that, Generika-Ayala has to beat Petron twice in the next round to advance to the best-of-three semifinals of this battle that also has Mikasa, Asics, Senoh, LGR and Grand Sport as technical partners.
Meanwhile, top seed F2 Logistics will clash with eighth seed Smart; third seed Cocolife will tackle sixth seed Cignal; and fourth seed Foton will face fifth seed Sta. Lucia Realty armed with a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals starting Saturday at the Gen. Trias Sports Center in Gen. Trias City in Cavite.
A member of the Trinidad and Tobago national team, Ramdin delivered 16 of her team-high 17 points from kills while Hayden chipped in 13 attacks and a block to finish with 14 points for the Lifesavers, who took advantage of the HD Spikers’ erratic attacks after Bosnian import Sonja Milanovic crashed with a right ankle sprain midway in the first set.
“Her absence was a major blow for Cignal,” said Generika-Ayala head coach Sherwin Meneses shortly after closing their classification round campaign with a 3-7 win-loss card.
“Sonja is legitimate scorer and their top option on offense. Her absence limited their offensive options and gave us good opportunities defensively.”
Meneses added that the victory is a morale-booster for them going into the next round against an elite team like Petron who dealt them with a straight-set beating in their previous encounter.
“We know that Petron is one of the teams to beat here,” said Meneses, a rookie mentor in the league who is eager to pull off a massive surprise.
“We will do our best to prepare against them on Saturday and work hard in training. Anything can happen. Bilog ang bola.”
With Milanovic out, American import Jeané Horton picked up the scoring cudgel for the HD Spikers, who faltered in the third set and allowed Ramdin and the Lifesavers to turn a 16-all count into a 23-18 deficit.
Horton tallied 16 kills, two aces and a block to finish with 19 points while Rachel Ann Daquis had six. Milanovic chipped in five markers before sitting out for good.
Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Realty closed the classification round on a high note as they clobbered Smart, 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, in the second game.
Bohdana Anisova and Marisa Field were impressive on both ends to frustrate the Giga Hitters and their super import in Gyselle Silva, who just came from a league-record 56-point explosion.
Anisova chalked 17 attacks to finish with 22 points while Field added 10 kills for 17 markers for Sta. Lucia, which booked a duel with Foton in the quarterfinals next week.
The two imports combined for nine of the Lady Realtors’ 12 total blocks to withstand another 33-point performance by Silva.
The Giga Hitters, who will face reigning champion F2 Logistics in the next round, closed their classification-round campaign without a win in 10 matches.
Apr 14 Quarterfinals
Gen Trias Sports Center, tix at venue available now. P300 all seats.
4 pm – F2 Logistics vs Smart
6 pm – Petron vs Generika-Ayala