Generika-Ayala displayed its might to crush Cocolife, 25-20, 25-15, 21-25, 25-16 in the opening-day salvo of the Belo-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Lifesavers who underwent a massive revamp in the off-season shut down the Asset Managers early on before going for the kill in the fourth set punch their first conquest in this prestigious women’s volleyball tourney bankrolled by Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Vastly-improved Gen Casugod was a pillar of strength at the net as she delivered 17 kills and three blocks for 20 points while Angeli Araneta and Patty Orendain chipped in 12 and 11 markers for the Lifesavers who launched a massive revamp in the off-season and acquired four members of two-time champion Foton and a former member of powerhouse Petron.
Generika coach Francis Vicente said he likes the composition of his new team as it features the mixture of young players and seasoned veterans with championship experience.
“We’re more balanced this time,” said Vicente, who will be calling the shots for the national women’s team in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
“I like my team this time. Magaan silang kasama, magaan ang samahan. Hindi pa kami nagti-team building pero magaan silang kasama agad.”
Vicente lauded the performance of 6-foot-2 Casugod, who responded big-time after being designated as team captain prior the start of the ongoing tournament, which has UCPB Gen as official insurance provider and Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner.
“Syempre, kailangan nya magpakitang gilas. Captain ball namin sya eh.”
“She has to step up. Sayang kasi 6’2 sya tapos malamya sya. So kailangan pag-igihan nya.”
After booking impressive wins in the first two sets, the Lifesavers found themselves in trouble in the crucial stretch of the third as Andrea Marzan spearheaded a scorching assault, turning a 19-all count into 23-20 advantage.
Regine Arocha connected an ace for the set point before skipper Michele Gumabao delivered a booming kill from the opposite to extend the match to a fourth set.
“We relaxed in the third set,” said Vicente. “Syempre normal sa isang team yan. Nagrelax talaga kami kaya kailangan gamitin ang ‘killer instinct’ sa fourth set.”
Fiola Ceballos provided the “killer instinct” Vicente was looking for in the deciding set as she towed the Lifesavers to a 16-12 count entering the second technical timeout en route the victory.
Rosemarie Vargas and Gumabao tallied nine and eight points, respectively, for the Asset Managers, who are tipped to bounce back against Foton in their next match on Thursday.
Next games are on March 9 Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Center
5pm CocoLife Asset Managers
7pm Cignal HD Spikers vs Petron (Live AksyonTV and Hyper)