Eya Laure carried the scoring cudgels and delivered the differential hits down the stretch, lifting the Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy over the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers, 21-25, 25-17, 27-25, 19-25, 15-11, in the 2019 PSL Invitationals, Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Laure scintillated with a game-high 24 points built on 21 attacks to keep their semifinals hopes flickering in Pool D with a 3-3 card. She took matters into her own hands in the rubber set, pouring in six crucial points that took the fight out of the Lifesavers.
Mired in a 0-4 hole in the fifth frame, Eya linked up with her elder sister, EJ, to cook up a storm that knotted the count at 6. The Tornadoes then fought tooth-and-nail with the Lifesavers as deadlock after deadlock ensued.
Knotted at 10, though, the younger Laure pierced through the outstretched arms of Generika-Ayala’s defenders. She delivered a thunderous kill to change the complexion of the affair, as the Tornadoes stormed to a 14-11 cushion. Eya then dealt the lethal blow.
Shaya Adorador also had a stellar offensive performance of her own. The product of UE supplied 19 markers, three of which coming in the decider.
Marian Buitre anchored above the net with six kill blocks for 14 points, while EJ Laure contributed 11 markers.
Foton playmaker Gyzelle Sy flashed her all-around brilliance, making her presence felt on both offense and defense. She tallied 37 excellent sets laced with 23 excellent digs and three points. Defensive specialist Jen Reyes manned the floor with a whopping 49 excellent digs and 14 excellent receptions.
“Masayang-masaya ako kung paano naglaro ‘yung mga bata kanina. Talagang siyempre hindi ibibigay ng madali, pero kanina nagsama-sama lang talaga,” Foton head coach Aaron Velez beamed.
“Nagkaroon ng team work, lalo na nung pagdating ng fifth set kasi hindi naman kami parating nagkaka-training ng sabay-sabay. Pero kanina mas nanginbabaw yung kagustuhan nila manalo,” he continued.
The Tornadoes could have ended the match in the fourth set had they overturned a 14-18 deficit, but Generika-Ayala refused to give way.
The Lifesavers unloaded a bevy of attacks and sprinted towards a 23-18 spread, followed by CJ Rosario’s mishit and Mean Mendrez’s kill, respectively, to forge a decider.
Mendrez topped Generika-Ayala with 16 points, which included 12 attacks and four service aces. Patty Orendain and Ria Meneses supplemented 14 markers each. Orendain also had 17 excellent digs, while Meneses notched five rejections.
Yeye Gabarda managed 12 points, with a pair coming from the blocking department. Meanwhile, Fiola Ceballos finished with nine markers and nine excellent receptions.
The Lifesavers finish their campaign with a 1-5 slate.