The curse of the PSL scoring record

Sunday, 17 Dec 2017
MJ de Guzman - Writer - @MJTheGuzman

This year, Filipino fans were able to witness a remarkable milestone in Philippine volleyball. In a hard-fought victory against the mighty F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, Foton’s Serbian reinforcement Sara Klisura registered the most points scored by an import as she exploded for 41 point from 36 kills, four aces, and a block after a blockbuster five-setter match.

That was the highest output made by an import and any player in the history of the most prestigious semi-pro league in the country, the Philippine Superliga.

Aside from the 6-foot- one Klisura, there were three other imports who dropped major bombs and exploded for a record-setting performance in the past editions of PSL Grand Prix, which
remained chiseled in the history books of the league. But sometimes,an individual firepower is not enough to win a sports team like volleyball.

Unfortunately, not all records are translated into a more important feat – the championship.

Here are four PSL imports who set a scoring record but failed to win the title in the PSL Grand Prix.

1. Kristy Jaeckel

Mane N’ Tail’s American reinforcement Kristy Jaeckel was previous holder of the best scoring output in PSL history. The former ace spiker of University of Florida carried the Lady Stallions in a morale-boosting victory against the Foton Tornadoes in the elimination round of the 2014 edition when she wallopped 40 big points, coming from 32 attacks, four service aces, and four blocks, shortly after matching Dindin Santiago’s league best 37 points.

Jaeckel was a legit monster scorer. Her tandem with American setter Kaylee Mans proved to be an effective one-two punch for the Lady Stallions. Unfortunately, they lost 7 of their 10 matches in the preliminaries, which ended their semi-final hopes and a chance for the crown.

2. Bojana Todorovic

One of the best all-around players to play in the league, Bojana Todorovic, a former libero turned outside spiker, made jaws dropped when she unleashed 38 points coming from 34 attacks and four aces in the final elimination match of the 2015 Grand Prix. With her stellar performance, the Lady Slammers emerged as the number one seed and were highly favored to win the crown.

In a bitter twist of fate, Foton Tornadoes started they cinderella run by frustrating Philips Gold in the knock-out semi finals. Unfortunately, Bo and company settled for the battle for bronze against Cignal HD Spikers, to which they have won in four sets.

3. Stephanie Niemer

In the 2016 edition, Petron Blaze SpikersStephanie Niemer tied Bo Todorovic’s 38-point performance. Known for her powerful jumpful serves and sharp angled attacks, the talented wing hitter out of Kentucky finished off with 34 attacks and four aces in their defeat against the defending champions, Foton, in the elimination round.

Niemer continued to wow local fans with her volleyball prowess and steered Petron to its third straight Finals appearance but they succumbed to Foton in two games, where she finished with a pair of 30-point performance.

4. Sara Klisura

Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

Hail to the new queen!

Serbian sensation Sara Klisura now holds the best scoring output in the PSL history. With a league record 41 points, Kill-sura, as what fans fondly called her, proved that she is one of the best imports to ever play in the league, shattering Jaeckel’s previous record of 40 points. But unluckily, Sara and the rest of Foton Tornadoes failed to defend the crown as they bowed to Petron in a thrilling four-set match in the semifinals last week.

These imports have won a personal milestone. They have shocked the league with their scoring ability. But their PSL scoring records looked like a jinx to their team. But no, these records are not a curse. These are feats meant to be celebrated. Championships, just like records, are all about timing.

And for these imports, we wish to see them again in the Philippine soil and win that coveted crown!