MANILA, Philippines – Generika-Ayala needed five full sets to eke out a difficult 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-11 triumph over Smart in the Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Tuesday at the Imus Sports Center.
Darlene Ramdin came through with some clutch hits, before the Giga Hitters crumbled under pressure to gift the Lifesavers their first win in the club tournament.
A returning import from Trinidad and Tobago, Ramdin fired 26 points on 23 kills and three blocks, while American import Symone Hayden contributed 21 points for the Lifesavers, who needed two hours and nine minutes to overcome Smart.
Prolific Cuban import Gyselle Silva spearheaded Smart's charge, as she scored a conference-high 35 points built on 30 kills and three aces.
However, her effort was not enough as the Smart locals failed to provide enough support – particularly in the deciding set where Ramdin and the Lifesavers swooped in for the kill.
"I just told them not to get pressured. Just follow the instruction and treat this match as if this is just a practice game," said Generika-Ayala coach Sherwin Meneses after steering the Lifesavers to their first win.
"We’re not actually concerned with the game; we’re more concerned with our improvement as a team. I’m glad that we had some improvements and we managed to apply everything we learned in practice," he added.
With the Giga Hitters breathing down their neck in the fifth set, 10-11, Ramdin connected a booming kill from the right before Angeli Araneta delivered a quick hit to make it 13-11.
Ramdin then unleashed another attack for the match point while the Giga Hitters committed a reception error in the ensuing play to surrender the victory.
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