Generika-Ayala recalls its lifesavers

Thursday, 04 Jan 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad
Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

A pair of familiar faces will make its return when Generika-Ayala marches to the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix starting Feb. 17.

Imports Darlene Ramdin and Katarina Pilepic are set to return for another tour of duty as the Lifesavers try to shoot for a better finish following the departure of Francis Vicente as head coach.

A member of the Trinidad and Tobago national team that punched a ticket to the 2018 FIVB Women’s World Championship in Japan recently, Ramdin is arguably one of the best all-around reinforcements that saw action in the Chooks To Go-PSL Grand Prix last year.

She provided the spark as the Lifesavers made a late-season rally and nearly pulled off a massive upset of powerhouse Petron in the sudden-death quarterfinals.

It’s going to be her third straight year to campaign for the Lifesavers.

Pilepic’s track record in the recent Grand Prix was equally impressive.

Dubbed as the “Croatian Hammer” for her leaping ability, arm swing and powerful attacks, the former University of Arizona star served as the engine that kept Generika-Ayala’s offense going.

She stood her ground and refused to get intimidated to other more seasoned international campaigners, prompting the Lifesavers to come up with a strong finish.

That’s why it didn’t come as a surprise that Generika-Ayala gave them another call.

Generika Drugstore vice president and COO Jay Ferrer said they surely made the right choice.

“They are very hard working and competitive imports who have the right winning attitude and can help the team perform better.”

Ferrer added that they are still looking for a third import – a libero – since backline defenders Kathleen Arado and Bia General are set to return to University of the East and National University, respectively.

“Yes, we are looking for a libero to help us in the Grand Prix since our local liberos will not be available because they need to play for their UAAP teams.”

Serious buildup

Hopes are high on the Lifesavers this conference.

After taking a one-year leave of absence following a title-clinching finish in the All-Filipino Conference in 2014, the Lifesavers always ran out of gas and never made it to the semifinals.

This prompted the management to shake things up in search for a new direction.

A prominent insider bared that a new head coach is on his way following the Lifesavers’ decision to part ways with Vicente, who decided to set his focus on leading University of the East to a Final Four appearance in the UAAP.

Aside from a new coach, a couple of new faces will also be recruited, giving the Lifesavers a fighting chance to snap their semifinal drought.

“Remember that Ayala Corp. prides itself as a winner during its time in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association).”

“That’s why the management is leaving no stone unturned in coming up with a very strong team. Their buildup is serious. A lot of interesting developments will happen in the next few days.”

Ferrer confirmed the veracity of the source, admitting that they are talking to a couple of local stars who can help Ramdin and Pilepic realize their goal.

“We need to provide them with strong local support.”

“Darlene and Katarina are scheduled to arrive within the next two weeks and we will begin our training any time soon.”