Generika-Ayala pounced hard on a young and inexperienced Cherrylume side to register a masterful 25-16, 25-20, 25-17 conquest in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference Thursday at the Strike Gym along Molino Drive in Bacoor, Cavite.
National team member Gen Casugod was at her best, towing the Lifesavers to their second win in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Rebisco, Belo and Gold’s Gym with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
With the win, Generika-Ayala formally joined idle Cignal, Foton and Petron in Pool C while Cherrylume was relegated in Pool D together with F2 Logistics, Sta. Lucia Realty and Cocolife in the second round of this battle that also has Mikasa, Mueller, Asics, Senoh and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
Their respective rankings, however, would be determined pending the result of the battle between the Cargo Movers and Lady Realtors at press time.
A 6-foot-1 spiker from Far Eastern University, Casugod delivered eight kills, two blocks and an ace to finish with 11 points while Fiola Ceballos had 10 markers.
Generika-Ayala head coach Francis Vicente beamed satisfaction over the performance of his wards, who made a strong rebound following a four-set loss to Foton last week.
“As much as possible, we wanted to come up with a very impressive victory,” said Vicente, who also stands as mentor of University of the East in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). “That’s why I told the team to go hard and dominate. We need a good win to boost our morale entering the second round where we will face some of the strongest teams in the league.”
After breezing through the first set, the Lifesavers found themselves in trouble as the Iron Lady Warriors erected an early 8-3 advantage in the second set behind the hot smashes of skipper Mary Anne Mendrez.
Cherrylume sustained the momentum, 14-9, before Casugod and Marian Buitre started to wax hot and claimed the equalizer at 20.
It proved to be the final stand of the Iron Lady Warriors as their inexperience in competing against seasoned foes showed while the Lifesavers buckled down to business with five consecutive points – three of which coming off Cherrylume’s errors.
The Iron Lady Warriors shut down the second set with 13 errors, or half of their 26 total errors in the entire match.
Mendrez, a promising spiker from UE, was the lone bright spot with 11 kills and two aces for the Iron Lady Warriors, who are marching into this prestigious tourney with the noble goal of gaining significant experience for the UAAP wars next year.