KSENIYA Kocygit’s clutch quick attack and back-to-back aces from Angeli Araneta saved Generika-Ayala from its twice-to-beat disadvantage to PLDT Home Fibr salvaging a 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24 victory on Tuesday to force a rubber match in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix quarterfinals at the Arena in San Juan City.
With the Power Hitters just a point away from forcing a fifth set with a 24-23 fourth set lead from Bia General crucial digging error, Kocyigit rose to the occasion with quick attack to force a deuce before Araneta, patiently, delivered back-to-back aces to remove the twice-to-beat advantage of third placer PLDT and set a do-or-die quarterfinals duel on Saturday.
Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong showed the way for Generika-Ayala with 17 points all coming from attacks. Team captain Araneta put up 14 points off 10 attacks and four aces laced up with 16 digs. Ria Meneses also had 14 hitting six of the team’s 10 blocks.
Kocyigit contributed 13 markers, while Fiola Ceballos added 11 points and 12 excellent receptions helping General, who had 30 digs and 14 excellent receptions, on floor defense as Lifesavers bucked a lethargic start before eking out with the clutch points in the succeeding to prevail in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes.
"Ang mindset lang namin, kasi nga dalawang five sets na kami ng PLDT, is dagdagan lang 'yung effort namin,” said Generika-Ayala head coach Sherwin Meneses. “Ngayong pressure game nanaman ang nangyare, nakuha na namin 'yung breaks.”
The winner of Generika-Ayala and PLDT on Saturday will face the survivor of F2 Logistics and Foton, who will clash in a do-or-die quarterfinals on Thursday, in the best-of-three semifinals.
"Ang usapan naman namin na six sets dapat ang kunin natin, 'wag natin isipin na two wins. Kahit na makakuha sila ng set, basta kumuha kami ng six sets against PLDT, so tatlo pa. Mataas ang morale ng team ngayon, kaso di pa tapos ang laban," Meneses said.
Import Kendra Dahlke put up 23 points for PLDT, while her partner Grace Lazard scored 15 points as the Power Hitters failed to utilize a first set win and fell on the brink of elimination.
Aiko Urdas contributed eight hits, Grethcel Soltones had seven markers including 28 digs and 24 excellent receptions, while setter Jasmine Nabor dished out 27 excellent sets on top of seven points.