Generika suffered yet another heart-crushing setback, this time from the hands of powerhouse F2 Logistics, 20-25, 22-25, 20-25, to remain winless in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
But the Lifesavers were a picture of determination. Veteran playmaker Rubie de Leon was dictating the tempo while imports Polina Liutikova and Darlene Ramdin were busy attacking the net, challenging the defense of Mika Reyes and Hayley Spelman all game long.
Although rising stars Ria Meneses and Chloe Cortez were not around, Shaya Adorador and skipper Wensh Tiu still worked double time in a bid to pull an earth-shaking upset of the reigning All-Filipino champion.
The Cargo Movers, however, were simply too good, too talented to be denied. And Generika head coach Francis Vicente knows that.
In a stunning twist, Vicente said he is now reconsidering his earlier plan of stepping down after seeing the Lifesavers fought their hearts out against an elite team like F2 Logistics.
Although the scores do not reflect it, he said their fighting spirit and will to succeed carried them all throughout the match.
Vicente is no ordinary coach. He is known as one of the country’s brightest mentors after turning high school girls like Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo, Maruja Banaticla and Dindin Santiago into college volleyball’s most important players.
He is a noted drillmaster and a good motivator who has the uncanny ability of squeezing out the best from his players, making them play hard now matter what it takes.
In fact, prior to handling Generika, he turned Philips Gold from an ordinary team into a legitimate title contender with Michelle Gumabao, Myla Pablo and Melissa Gohing at the helm. His program is tipped to produce a championship this year if not for the Lady Slammers’ decision to move to the other league.
But last Thursday, a different team showed up for Vicente. There’s was no single drop of competitive juice running through their veins.
But after that sorry episode, a small miracle happened. The Lifesavers showed up with a different kind of hunger and eagerness to win. It appears that they know that the Cargo Movers is a heavyweight and winning over them be an earth-shaking development in local volleyball.
He added that the team vowed to continue pushing hard to finally gain that elusive first win.
True enough, there’s a miracle that’s bound to happen. And it’s something Vicente and the Lifesavers truly deserve.