BACOOR CITY — Sta. Lucia leaned on MJ Phillips, Eli Soyud and Pam Lastimosa to edge Generika-Ayala, 14-25, 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11, and boost its semifinals chances in the Philippine Superliga Invitationals on Tuesday at the Bacoor Strike Gym.
Phillips, Soyud and Lastimosa conspired for 10 points in the fifth set, while the Lifesavers committed five crucial attack errors that allowed the Lady Realtors to prevail in a two-hour and 18-minute encounter.
Filipina-American spiker Phillips delivered 16 points off 12 attacks, two aces and as many as blocks to lead Sta. Lucia. Soyud, who came off the bench, put up 14 points, while Pam Lastimosa added 11 markers.
Sta. Lucia interim head coach Eddison Orcullo, who took over for coach-turned-assistant manager Babes Castillo, got his first win right away as his squad improved with 2-2 win-loss record at second place in Pool D.
“Ibinibigay ko talaga sa mga bata. Ang tanging sinabi ko lang, na naensayo na namin yan, ang kailangan lang maexecute ng tama sa game,” said Orcullo, who was a longtime assistant coach of Sta. Lucia. “Maganda naman pero hindi naman doon natatapos yun. Kailangan pa namin pagtrabahuan ng husto.”
Amanda Villanueva was also instrumental with eight points, 16 digs and seven excellent receptions. Veteran setter Rubie de Leon delivered 14 excellent sets and seven markers, while libero Juliet Catindig had 30 digs and seven receives.
The Lifesavers fought back from a 1-2 match disadvantage only to fall short in the fifth set, where they committed two attack errors of the Lady Realtors’ last three points
Fiola Ceballos and Mean Mendrez lifted Generika-Ayala with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Ria Meneses had 13 markers as their squad fell on the brink of elimination in Pool D with 1-3 record.