The Generika-Ayala Lifesavers bucked the loss of one of their main weapons to clinch their first winning streak in the PSL Grand Prix 2019 after defeating the United Volleyball Club in five thrilling sets 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-12 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Josh Ylaya-mentored squad started off strong in the first set with Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani and Kalei Mau leading the way. However, the Lifesavers responded with a 17-7 run after the second technical time-out led by Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong and Fiola Ceballos to snatch the opening set away from UVC.
Set two turned out differently as UVC went on a 7-0 start and never looked back. Mau and Bedart-Ghani neutralized the Lifesavers’ momentum midway through the set to level the tally at one apiece.
A see-saw battle ensued early in the third set before Mau and Bedart-Ghani took over. Costly errors by the Lifesavers also helped UVC take a two sets to one advantage.
The Sherwin Meneses-coached unit started off strong in the fourth set but UVC stormed back to keep the count close. From a deuce, the Lifesavers showed heart and determination to force a fifth and deciding set.
Generika-Ayala scored the first four points in set five but Bedart-Ghani ignited her squad to fight back. In the end, UVC’s composure crumbled and the Lifesavers prevailed when Kuthaisong spiked the ball through the right hand of Amy Ahomiro before it sailed out.
Kuthaisong led the Lifesavers with 19 points while Ceballos had 17. Ria Meneses, who injured her left ankle during the latter part of the third set, made 13. UVC, who were missing the services of import Tai Manu-Olevao due to a family reunion, were led by Mau with a career-high 33 points followed by Bedart-Ghani with 25.
Generika-Ayala (3-7) will chase a three-game winning streak when they face the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors on March 23. Meanwhile, United Volleyball Club (5-5) will try to move up the team standings versus a struggling but dangerous Foton Tornadoes on March 26. Both games will be at Filoil.
Generika-Ayala (3) – Kuthaisong 19, Ceballos 16, Meneses 13, Lopez 10, Araneta 8, Kocyigit 6, Hingpit 3, Lavitoria 1, Orendain 1, Llagoso 0, Cerveza 0, General (L)
UVC (2) – Mau 33, Bedart-Ghani 25, Angustia 10, Robins-Hardy 9, Ahomiro 7, Palec 3, Tejada 0, Tiu 0, Alkuino 0, Pineda (L)
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