by Jerome Lagunzad
Getting a big lift from its local crew, Generika-Ayala drubbed Iriga City last night, 25-16 25-15, 25-21, to stop a two-game slide in the 2017 Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan City.
Croatian reinforcement Katarina Pilepic came up with another solid 20-point performance, 15 of them off hits, and got the needed support from her teammates this time to help the Lifesavers cruise past the Oragons in an hour and 14 minutes of play.
Former University of the Philippines standout Angeli Araneta tallied all but one of her 13-point output on the offensive end while Shaya Adorador and Chloe Cortez combined for 13 points to help Generika-Ayala improved its mark to 2-3.
Iriga City, which drew a team-high 15 points from towering Serbian import Tamara Kzemic, has yet to figure things out following the one-year suspension slapped by tourney organizers on local star Grethcel Soltones as the Oragons dropped their second straight match after winning their opener.
Making the Lifesavers’ latest triumph more impressive was the fact that they pulled it off in dominant fashion despite getting little from Trinidad and Tobago import Darlene Ramdin, who has yet to recover her full strength after dealing with food poisoning recently.
“I just motivated them in terms of their collective mindset because that’s very important in any team,” said Generika-Ayala coach Francis Vicente. “That’s exactly what has been bugging us early on. I just wanted to stay relaxed and confident. Just enjoy the game in the best way possible.”
The Lifesavers gave Vicente what he was looking for in the first two sets behind the sustained assault displayed by Pilepic and Araneta who decimated the Oragons’ net defense.
Iriga City, however, showed some signs of life in the third set where it even took a 21-19 lead following a Pilepic service error and a service ace by Kzemic, leaving Vicente sweating heavily on the Generika-Ayala bench.
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