MANILA, Philippines – Sta. Lucia has finally ended a five-game slump in the 2019 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix, after a 13-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 triumph over Foton on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Casey Schoenlein delivered the killer blows in the third and fourth sets to tow the Lady Realtors to their second victory in the tournament.
Schoenlein tallied 13 points while her partner Molly Lohman had 12 markers for the Lady Realtors.
The locals also stepped up for Sta. Lucia, with Pam Lastimosa tallying nine points on top of 12 digs and seven excellent receptions. Jho Maraguinot had 9 points and 15 excellent receptions as well.
"I like it because they played more relaxed. They enjoyed inside the court, which is something that we lost in our previous games. I’m very happy with it," said Sta. Lucia coach Babes Castillo.
"The issue ever since is how do we finish. Now, I think this is a good experience for them, they get to know how to finish the game, they get to know how to play in tight situation," the coach added.
After a sluggish start, the Lady Realtors got their acts together in the succeeding sets, where they engaged the Tornadoes in toe-to-toe battle.
They fought back from a 19-21 deficit in the fourth set, with Schoenlein delivering back-to-back spikes for them to reach match point, 24-21.
Selime Ilyasoglu then committed a crucial attack error to hand the Lady Realtors the victory.
"I like how we played. Hopefully, we can carry this into the second round," said Castillo.
Courtney Felinski had 23 kills, four aces and a block for a 28-point effort while Ilyasoglu and Elaine Kasilag chipped in 15 and nine points, respectively, for two-time champion Foton, which suffered its fifth loss in six games.
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