Italian stint for ‘Super Sara’

Monday, 27 Nov 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad
Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

Enjoy Sara Klisura’s explosive performance as much as you can.

Klisura’s return for another tour of duty is hanging in balance as Foton head coach Moro Branislav admitted that there’s a standing offer for her to return to Italy after the ongoing Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix.

Branislav, who personally invited the sensational Serbian to reinforce the Tornadoes, didn’t divulge the name of the club, but stressed that she will likely accept the job that’s why she’s doing her best to lead the Tornadoes to their third title.

Said to be one of the world’s toughest, the Italian Volleyball League Series A1 is nothing new for Klisura.

She played for eight-time champion Bergamo Volley from 2012 to 2014 before seeing action for Romani and Russian clubs from 2014 to 2016.

She was also part of the Serbian juniors national team and the Partizan Vizura, where Branislav served as her mentor and Olympic star Tijana Boskovic, then a rising star at 13 years old, was one of her teammates.

“A club in Italy expressed its desire to have her next year. I think she will take the job so a championship for Foton this year will be a good send off.”

Branislav said the offer on Klisura didn’t come as a surprise as she’s been taking the PSL by storm, highlighted by a 41-point outburst that keyed the Tornadoes’ incredible five-set win over erstwhile unbeaten F2 Logistics.

Her scoring production is the highest ever, outshining the 40 points by Kristy Jaeckel and 38 points by Bojana Todorovic and Stephanie Niemer.

“As I talked to Mr. (Tats) Suzara and other PSL officials, we agreed that Sara is one of the best foreign players ever to played here in the Philippines.”

Stunned

Klisura definitely treated fans to a spectacular display of volleyball prowess.

She was at the helm when the Tornadoes withstand the storm Cargo Movers’ rally in the second set and delivered the killer blows in the fifth – a booming spike from the backrow and a power tip off the gift from Kim Fajardo that sealed the victory.

While hundreds of fans at the jampacked Batangas Sports Center were screaming in jubilation and thousands more from the comfort of their households celebrating the golden milestone, Klisura admitted that she was clueless that a new record was made.

She stepped into the post-match press conference with a blank stare like a kid who got lost in a candy store.

“Is that a league-record? Really?”

“I really don’t have a feeling that I had 41. Really?”

Klisura admitted that it is the first time for her to set a scoring mark as her main task wasn’t really to score, but to help the team in her own little way.

She said her previous high was around 30 points so this emphatic production is something to celebrate.

“Right now, I’m very excited – first, because we won and, second, because of this record. It’s my personal record. I never made 41 (points) before. The highest I got was around 30 or 31. I don’t actually count.”

But setting the league’s scoring mark wasn’t her main goal.

She said Foton is just on the early stretch of its journey to the crown. After facing Victoria Sports-UST in the final game of eliminations, they still have to wait for the outcome of the final match of rivals Petron and F2 Logistics to determine their ranking in the quarterfinals.

The Tornadoes have to overcome the quarterfinals before advancing to the semifinals where a ticket to the best-of-three finals series is at stake.

From there, anything can happen.

It’s still a long, long way to go.

And it’s still way too early to celebrate.