Admittedly, it was tough for the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers to muster their signature spunk Saturday afternoon. After all, the Lifesavers were primed to make their first appearance in a semifinals.
Throughout the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Cup, there was no better story than Generika’s unlikely run out of Group A which was aptly dubbed the “Group of Death”. Pooled with perennial contenders Petron, F2 Logistics and Foton, the Lifesavers faced slim odds of claiming one of the top three seeds needed to advance.
In many ways, libero Kath Arado personified Generika’s eventual Cinderella story. The gritty libero, who has been with the Lifesavers since the team’s inception in 2016, anchored Generika’s pesky defense that led to upset wins over the Tornadoes and Blaze Spikers that towed them to the quarterfinals.
What the Lifesavers lacked in height, they made up for with quickness and guts.
The quarterfinals, however, was a much different story. Swept by Smart, Generika-Ayala had to settle for an all too familiar spot out of the podium.
“Nakakapanghinayang. Kanina nga sa game, name-mention pa rin namin ‘yung last game,” relayed Arado after Generika’s win over Sta. Lucia for fifth place in which she piled up 19 digs and nine excellent receptions.
“Pero, sabi nga ni coach, hindi na namin mababalik ‘yun. Mabilis din kami naka-recover kasi tinanggap na lang namin agad. Masakit talaga, lalo na ngayon na maganda ‘yung pinakita namin noong una. Inisip na lang namin na hindi para sa amin itong conference na ‘to.
“Baka next conference sa amin na. Alam na namin ‘yung individual weaknesses namin, so kailangan pa namin ma-address ‘yun,” the 20-year-old added.
No Lifesaver has consistently been on the top of their scoring list. The one constant was Arado’s near-impervious presence in the backline.
For the UAAP Season 80 Best Digger and Best Receiver, it was a major blessing for her club to finally shed the underdog stigma, similar to how UE surprised spectators in the UAAP.
“Malaking bagay na talaga lalo na sa akin. Since nag-pro league ako, nasa Generika na ako. Alam ko na talagang malaki ‘yung pagbabago namin this conference. Parang ang gaan na,” the 5-foot-5 defensive specialist emphasized.
“Though di namin nakuha ‘yung goal namin, pero alam namin at may tiwala kami sa coaches na kaya namin next conference.”