STA. Lucia turned back Smart, 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, to end of the elimination round of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix with back-to-back victories on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Ukrainian import Bohdana Anisova led the way for the Lady Realtors with 22 points, 14 digs and 14 excellent sets, while Canadian reinforcement Marisa Field added 17 and Fil-Am spiker MJ Phillips chipped in 11.
Sta. Lucia finished the elimination round with a 5-5 win-loss record, tied with Foton, but the Lady Realtors finished a spot behind fourth-place Tornadoes due to lower matches points scored.
However, Sta. Lucia and Foton will clash in the quarterfinals with the Tornadoes having a twice-to-beat advantage.
“Hopefully masustain namin ‘yun momentum namin,” said Sta. Lucia coach George Pascua, whose team defeated powerhouse Petron in straight sets.
“‘Yung floor defense namin kasi sa taas medyo okay na kami. Against Foton na matatangkad, kailangan namin ayusin ang floor defense talaga namin at saka ang service,” he added.
Cuban import Gyselle Silva finished with 33 points and 13 digs for Smart, while Serbian reinforcement Sanja Trivunovic added 23 markers and 21 excellent receptions.
Winless Smart will face top-seed F2 Logistics in the quarterfinals.