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Who can withstand the pressure between PLDT and Generika Ayala

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2019
AJ Tanada - Writer - @volleyverse
Photo credit: Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

2019 PSL Grand Prix Preliminaries Recap
1st Game (Feb 23): PLDT def. Generika Ayala in five sets (24-26, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 15-8)
2nd Game (March 12): PLDT def. Generika Ayala in five sets (25-21, 20-25, 29-27, 13-25, 15-12)

This is a series between two squads that have been on a roller coaster ride this season. The PLDT Hone Fibr Power Hitters have found gems of an import in Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke as both imports have been perfect for coach Roger Gorayeb. The locals have also been vital for PLDT with Aiko Urdas, Shola Alvarez, Lizlee Ann Pantone and the returning Grethcel Soltones providing the needed support for the imports.

The Generika Ayala Lifesavers have also been up and down in the tournament with the loss of Nickole Del Rio due to injury to the rotation adjustment of Coach Sherwin Meneses. Luckily, they found a gem in Thailand outside spiker Kanjana Kuthaisong to support Kseniya Kocyigit. Also the locals, led by Fiola Ceballos, Ria Meneses, Jamie Lavitoria and Angeli Araneta, have to continue their rise for them to get a better run in the tournament.

Key Match-Up

Fiola Ceballos vs Aiko Urdas

Ceballos has been the consistent figure for the Lifesavers. Her numbers are import-like numbers when it comes to spikes. In her two games against the Power Hitters, the beach volleyball standout is scoring about 15 points and she will be a marked spiker in this series.

Meanwhile, Urdas is Ms. Barometer for the Power Hitters as she is measuring stick of how PLDT is running throughout the conference. In their two games against the Lifesaves, the former NU lady Bulldog is averaging close to 12 points as this will gauge how long the Power Hitters will run this conference.

Can Generika-Ayala finally get over the hump?

The Lifesavers have always been in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix but has not barged in the semifinals for the past two seasons. This season, have the Lifesavers finally found the right formula to break in to the big dance. It will be a tough act to get to but with the mantra of the Lifesavers put into heart, this will be the year they get their first semifinaks stint in the Grand Prix.

Prediction for PLDT-Generika Ayala

This will be one of the tougest series to predict and I am seeing it go all the way to a Fifth set going to who wants it more.

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