VICTORY tasted so sweet for Sta. Lucia after it ended a dry spell, defeating Generika-Ayala, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 16-25, 16-14, in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix on Saturday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Coming off a winless campaign in the All-Filipino Conference, the Lady Realtors finally won a game after 11 games.
American import Casey Schoenlein had a game-high 23 points, from 17 spikes and six blocks, for Sta. Lucia, while Molly Lohman, who’s also from the USA, added 11 markers, team captain Pam Lastimosa had 10 and Amanda Villanueva, who played her first game for Sta. Lucia, had six points, 19 digs and 11 receptions in the match that took two hours and 22 minutes to finish.
“Unang glance ayaw mo ‘yun [maghahabol] but as a coach that’s how you can test your system if it’s working,” said Sta. Lucia coach Babes Castillo, whose team trailed by as many as 13 points in the fourth set, 2-15.
“I’m happy with how they worked as a team on the system that we’re trying to build lalo na ‘yung depensa, kasi if you can’t establish your defense mahihirapan kami,” he added.
Tied, 4-4, the Lady Realtors scored on an off the block attack that gave them a one-point breather, 5-4.
Life Savers’ import Nikolle de Rio sustained a right ankle sprain after the block attempt that caused the Brazilian import to exit the game early and Sta. Lucia capitalized on her absence.
Generika-Ayala coach Sherwin Meneses, however, refused to put on the blame on their import’s injury, saying that their team lacked effort early on.
“Kulang talaga [kami sa effort] umpisa pa lang, kulang na kulang talaga,” he lamented. “Hindi lang naman ‘yun kasi nawala ‘yung import namin, hindi talaga naging maganda ang laro namin.”
Patty Orendain finished with 15 points for Generika-Ayala, while middle blocker Kseniya Kocyigit from Azerbaijan added 13 and skipper Angeli Araneta had 10.