The Generika-Ayala Lifesavers finally got over the hump to nail their first win in the PSL Grand Prix 2019 surviving against the Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy in five sets 25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 20-25, 15-11 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Both the Lifesavers and Tornadoes played a close match all throughout the match. Just when it looked like the Sherwin Meneses-coached squad will take an easy victory, Foton roared back by taking sets three and four. But the will to win by Generika-Ayala prevailed in the deciding frame to end their six-game losing streak and hopefully gain momentum heading into the second round of preliminaries.
The Tornadoes, who are now on a six-game losing streak, banked on Mina Aganon, Gen Casugod, and imports Courtney Felinski and Selime Ilyasoglu to bring the game to the distance. In the fifth set, the Tornadoes started strong with four straight points but the Lifesavers pulled the rug by scoring seven unanswered points to gain the upper hand and eventually the match.
The Lifesavers made a tweak in their starting rotation with Azerbaijani import Kseniya Kocyigit at opposite while Jamie Lavitoria and Mika Lopez started in lieu of April Ross Hingpit and team captain Angeli Araneta. Head Coach Sherwin Meneses can finally have a sigh of relief after getting a win. “Masaya kami kasi maganda ito para sa amin para makakuha kami ng winning streak heading sa second round. Medyo nakaka-adjust na din kami and nakakakuha na ng tamang chemistry,” he said.
As a result, Lavitoria is named Game MVP with four points and 23 excellent sets. “Yesterday in training, we had to make a few adjustments and from there, we just knew that we had to keep going and not look back at the losses before the game today,” the former Ateneo Lady Eagle shared.
The Lifesavers were led by Karjana Kuthaisong with 25 points followed by Fiola Ceballos with 20 points. Bia General played well on the defensive side as she had 29 digs and 24 excellent receptions. For the Tornadoes, they were led by Felinski with 24 followed by Casugod with 16 points, 7 on blocks. Gyzelle Sy also played well orchestrating the plays as she had 32 excellent sets.
The Generika Ayala Lifesavers (1-6) will try to gain a winning run to start their campaign in the second round against the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters. Meanwhile, the Tornadoes (1-6) will try to break their losing streak versus the Petron Blaze Spikers. Both games will be on March 12 at FilOil.
Generika-Ayala (3) – Kuthaisong 25, Ceballos 20, Lopez 11, Kocyijit 11, Meneses 7, Araneta 6, Lavitoria 4, Hingpit 0, Orendain 0, General (L)
Foton (2) – Felinski 24, Casugod 16, Aganon 14, Ilyasoglu 13, Ortiz 8, Kasilag 2, Sy 2, Rosario 1, Sandoval 0, Reyes (L)
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