Generika-Ayala came through with some scary moments before booking a thrilling 25-19, 23-25, 25-27, 25-18, 15-12 victory in the classification battle of the Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Gen Casugod was a force at the middle while Angeli Araneta and Fiola Mae Ceballos were also impressive for the Lifesavers, who inched closer to the consolation fourth place in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Senoh, Mueller, Asics and Mikasa with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Foton, Cignal, Petron and guest team Kobe Shinwa University are disputing for the crown in the final round of this battle that also has Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner and UCPB Gen as official insurance provider.
Casugod, the former Far Eastern University star who was picked to be part of the 24-woman national pool, was on fire, delivering 20 kills and five blocks for a game-high 25 points while Araneta and Ceballos had 13 and 14 markers, respectively.
Patty Jane Orendain also turned in a strong performance with 11 hits while Angel Legacion registered 22 of the Lifesavers’ 32 excellent sets.
Generika-Ayala coach Francis Vicente said they were headed for a flawless performance until complacency got into the way in the second and third sets, allowing the hungry and aggressive Lady Realtors to stretch the match into a deciding fifth set.
“They played a little bit complacent,” said Vicente, who will handle the national team in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
“So that’s one of our lapses in this match. We were supposed to be ahead until we relaxed. It’s hard to win, especially if you’re getting complacent.”
Vicente added that they have to get rid of complacency if they want to go far.
“It’s something we should get rid of. If we want to claim the fourth place, we should still instill our killer instinct.”
But Generika-Ayala caught fire in the fifth set as Casugod, Araneta and Ceballos took turns in punching holes on Sta. Lucia’s defensive blanket.
From a razor-thin 11-10 advantage, the Lifesavers capitalized on the Lady Realtors’ errors before Araneta scored on a booming down the line kill while Ceballos unleashed an attack from the open spot to formally conquer the match point.
Janine Navarro delivered 14 kills for a total of 15 points while middle blocker Lourdes Clemente had 11 points for the Lady Realtors, who will try to salvage some measure of pride against Cocolife in the classification battle for 4th to 6th places today.
Mar 31 Friday
3pm Sta Lucia vs Cocolife (classification match)
5pm Petron vs Foton (Finals live on Aksyon and Hyper)
7pm Cignal vs Japan Kobe Shinwa University (Finals live on Aksyon and Hyper)
Apr 1 Saturday
1pm Cocolife vs Generika-Ayala (classification match)
3pm Cignal vs Foton (Finals delayed telecast 8pm on April 1)
5pm Petron vs Japan Kobe Shinwa University (Finals live on Aksyon and Hyper)
7pm Awarding and Closing Ceremony (Finals live on Aksyon and Hyper)
All games are at the Filoil Flying V Center and live on the sports5.ph and YouTube livestream. Tickets are available at the gate.