Preview: Generika Ayala Lifesavers should build on their momentum of improvement

2018 Season Results
PSL Grand Prix: 7th Place
PSL Invitationals: 5th Place
PSL All-Filipino Cup: 3rd Place

Key Losses: Kath Arado (UAAP), Bang Pineda (UVC), Mariella Gabarda (UAAP)

Key Additions: May Macatuno

Imports: Kseniya Kocyigit and Nikolle del Rio

Key Returnees: Patty Orendain, Angeli Araneta, Ria Meneses, Fiola Ceballos, April Ross Hingpit

Head Coach: Sherwin Meneses

The Generika Ayala Lifesavers have been constantly improving throughout the 2018 PSL season which they punctuated with a bronze-medal finish in the All-Filipino Conference. Therefore, they have no other route to follow but up coming into the PSL Grand Prix 2019.

But they will be facing a different challenge this time as Kath Arado will not be suiting up for the UE Lady Warriors for an extensive period during the conference. Bang Pineda has also transferred to the United Volleyball Club. Rejoining the squad though is May Macatuno who will partner with April Ross Hingpit in distributing the balls to their spiking unit.

For team captain Angeli Araneta, their preparation this conference is base on knowing each other’s strengths. “We’re familiarizing everything especially with our imports. We’re still connecting our offense and defense. But overall, we’re great.”

With their imports arriving early, the former UP Lady Maroon is happy with the adjustments they have made out of their practices. “They are quick to adjust with our coaches’ system and our plays. In and out of the court they are so nice and fun. They are loud and brave when playing so I think these are good characteristics to add in our team when playing.”

For Arado, who will try to still play for the Lifesavers this Grand Prix, their success during the All-filipino was a major boost in the teams confidence. “Oo naman po. It’s a big impact sa amin na nakuha namin yung bronze medal kase goal talaga namin pumasok sa top four at yun din yung isang reason para mas mag-improve at mas galingan pa namin lalo na yung naka line up for Grand Prix,” said the Best Libero from the All-Filipino Conference and the Collegiate Grand Slam. Replacing Arado as the primary libero will be Bia General and Sheeka Espinosa.

With a podium finish from last conference, Life Savers team manager Allyn Sta. Maria stated that this team has what it takes to move even further. “There is no “hump”. In fact, paangat na ang team. Nakapag podium finish na last AFC. The fact that our locals are strong and we feel we have good imports in Kseniya (Kocyigit) and Niki (Del Rio), I think we can continue to build on our performance and hopefully finish strong as well this Grand Prix,” she mentioned.

Aside from Araneta, leading the way for the Lifesavers’ offense are PSL AFC 2018 2nd Best Outside Spiker Patty Orendain, PSL AFC 2018 1st Best Middle Blocker Ria Meneses, Fiola Ceballos, and Mikaela Lopez.

While not much has changed with their roster, so too will be their philosophy of putting the team first than individual accolades. With the strength that they already possess, they are hoping that keeping the team together will result into a championship.