THAI import Kanjana Kuthaisong and skipper Angeli Araneta delivered the crucial fifth-set points that completed Generika-Ayala‘s come-from-behind 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-12 win over United Volleyball Club on Thursday in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Arena in San Juan City.
The Lifesavers were on the brink of losing the game when Amy Ahomiro brought UVC at match point, 24-23, followed by an unfortunate left ankle sprain for middle blocker Ria Meneses, who had 13 points, before ruling out of the game.
But Generika-Ayala never wavered and forced a decider, where Kuthaisong and Araneta came to the rescue combining for 10 points in the fifth frame to overcome Kalei Mau’s PSL career-high 33 points.
Kuthaisong completed the come-from-behind conquest with a match-winning spike and delivered with 19 points, all coming from attacks, including 21 digs as the Lifesavers scored back-to-back wins in the second round for a 3-7 win-loss record.
“Sabi ko lang naman sa kanila, ‘ano may power pa ba tayo?’” Generika-Ayala coach Sherwin Meneses said. “Kasi pag nagconditioning naman sila pagka wala ka ng power talagang matatalo ka e malalakas pa e so nakahabol. Yung conditioning nila okay pa.”
Fiola Ceballos led the locals with 16 hits. Mikaela Lopez chipped in nine points, while Araneta finished with eight points for the Lifesavers, who also drew a tremendous floor defense from libero Bia General tallying 33 digs and 20 excellent receptions.
“Sabi ko nga kay Neta (Araneta) di ka na bago jan talagang maganda nilalaro ng locals namin talaga. Si Neta alam niyo naman yan treasure na player yan kayang kaya niya makipag sabayan,” added Meneses, whose wards will battle Sta. Lucia (2-7) on Saturday.
Kuthaisong and Araneta embarked Generika-Ayala’s 10-6 fifth set start before Mau, Alohi Robins-Hardy and Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani tied the decider thrice, 12-all. But back-to-back crucial miscues from Mau’s service error and Bedart-Ghani’s attack error gave the Lifesavers the matchpoint, 14-12, until the Thai Import hit the game-winning hit.
Mau had 31 spikes, a block and an ace for her best PSL game so far, while Bedart-Ghani added 25 markers for UVC, which missed other import Tai Manu-Olevao going home to Hawaii due for an important family matters.
Alohi Robins-Hardy also shone with 28 excellent sets on top of 22 digs and nine markers only for her team to drop with a 5-6 card and will try to bounce back on Tuesday against Foton (1-8).