Jockeying for crucial positioning in the 2019 PSL-All Filipino Conference standings, Fiola Mae Ceballos lifted her Generika-Ayala Lifesavers to solo third after a five-set, 26-24, 19-25, 26-24, 18-25, 16-14, escape act against the Cignal HD Spikers, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lifesavers hiked their win-loss card to 8-5, and have now broken free from a two-way knot with idle Foton, who hold a 7-5 card. Moreover, they dropped Cignal to solo fifth with a 6-6 slate and prevented them from gaining crucial footing in the standings.
Both teams fought tooth and nail in the fifth set. With no one giving ground in a close-quarter affair, Ceballos provided the momentum-swinging hit that shattered a 14-all lock. Mylene Paat then tried to equalize as she went for a sharp cross but unfortunately, it sailed wide.
Ceballos erupted for 30 points built on 25 attacks, three blocks, and two aces to lead the Lifesavers. She also laced 30 digs.
Generika-Ayala are still missing the services of team captain Angeli Araneta.
“Buti yung composure ng game andoon,” Generika-Ayala head coach Sherwin Meneses said.
Ria Meneses supplied five of her team’s 11 blocks en route to 14 points. Mary Anne Mendrez chipped 12 markers, while Patty Orendain added 10 points.
Jamie Lavitoria fanned out 29 excellent sets. Kath Arado notched 30 excellent digs.
“Nakita ko yung aggressive[ness] nila, na kahit wala yung captain nila na si Angeli, nag-step up yung mga players. Individually, leaders sila so yun yung nagustuhan ko sa kanila, lumalaban,” Meneses added.
The HD Spikers’ backs were against the wall entering the fourth set. But they were able to snatch momentum as they took their turn stifling the Lifesavers’ defense to mount a 23-14 lead.
Though Generika-Ayala gave Cignal a huge scare late in the fourth, an aggressive Alohi Robins-Hardy restored order for the latter. Ranya Musa then roofed Patty Orendain to forge a decider.
Robins-Hardy set the tone for Cignal, tallying a triple-double of 30 excellent sets, 23 excellent digs, and 15 points spiked by six blocks.
Captain Rachel Daquis had 20 points to lead all HD Spikers. Jovelyn Gonzaga contributed 13 markers, while Roselyn Doria managed 10, three of which coming from the service area. Jheck Dionela patrolled on defense with 31 excellent digs and 19 excellent receptions.
Generika-Ayala will try to stretch their streak to three against the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters on Thursday at the FilOil Arena. On the other hand, Cignal seek a bounce-back win when they face PLDT on Tuesday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.