Same name, different lineup. It doesn’t matter which set of players carries the Generika franchise as the Lifesavers reached the women’s division finals of the 2014 Philippine SuperLiga Grand Prix presented by ASICS after they overcame the RC Cola-Philippine Air Force Raiders, 25-23, 25-16, 25-23, on November 28 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
A near mirror of the first semifinals fixture earlier, Generika edged past the Raiders in the first set before taking control of the second frame. Stephanie Mercado gave her squad the go-ahead point in the final frame with an open side attack, 23-22, before Natalia Korobkova closed it out with two of her 12 attack points.
“Hindi ko alam sa RC (Cola-PAF) kung bakit ganon ang game nila today. Good para sa amin,” was what coach Ramil de Jesus replied when asked what happened in the contest. “Yung pinaghirapan ng mga bata during training lumalabas naman. Nae-execute lang nila ang gusto nilang gawin as a team.”
Korobkova headed the Lifesavers with 13 points. Mercado concluded with 12 markers as player of the match Michelle Laborte finished with six blocks, half of her team’s yield, and 11 points total.
Generika had 13 more attack points than RC Cola-Air Force to make up for the five-point deficit in service points. The winners face Petron in the battle for first place.
“Alam naman natin malakas ang Petron. Iba pagdating ng finals, anybody’s ballgame ‘yan,” de Jesus said. “Isa ito sa mga mataas ang percentage ng mga nilaro nila (Generika). Hopefully, sa finals ganito rin o mas higit pa dito yung laruin.”
As for bannering the Generika name, de Jesus stated, “Sobrang pressure para sa team namin dahil alam ko na mataas ang expectations nila. Sabi ko noon na sana kalahati nung ineexpect nila ma-meet namin. Ito siguro sobra na sa ineexpect.”
Maika Ortiz was the only double digit scorer for the Raiders with 11 points. Emily Brown and Judy Ann Caballejo had nine each.
RC Cola-Air Force will battle for third place against Cignal HD this Sunday. (JP Abcede)
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