MANILA, Philippines – Generika-Ayala displayed grace under pressure to hack out a thrilling 25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 20-25, 15-11 victory over Foton in the 2019 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lifesavers flirted with disaster, squandering a two-set advantage before recovering in the deciding frame to finally secure their first victory of the tournament.
Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong carried the offensive load while Fiola Ceballos waxed hot in the fifth set for the Lifesavers, who snapped a six-game losing streak.
A late replacement for Brazilian Nikolle del Rio, Kuthaisong delivered 25 points with 15 digs and 10 excellent receptions, while Ceballos chipped in 20 points built on 17 spikes, two aces and a block.
Kseniya Kocyigit of Azerbaijan was also impressive as she tallied 11 markers, including crucial hits in the deciding set where the Lifesavers erected a 13-8 lead before Courtney Felinski and Gen Casugod put Foton closer, 11-13.
Then, Ceballos delivered a strong cross-court hit and a service ace to seal the victory.
"We finally got the money off our backs. It is a win that we badly need," said coach Sherwin Meneses.
The coach gave credit to Jamie Lavitoria, who tallied 23 excellent sets for the team.
"We finally found the right combinations and Jamie did a great job for us. It worked so we will stick with it and hopefully we can get more victories along the way," he said.
Felinski tallied 24 points, including 14 digs and 14 receptions for two-time champion Foton, which suffered its seventh straight loss in this season-opening conference.
Gen Casugod chipped in 16 hits while Mina Aganon and import Selime Ilyasoglu had 14 and 13 markers, respectively.
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