Serbian sensation Sara Klisura caught fire when it was needed as Cocolife coasted to a 25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 25-17 victory over Generika-Ayala in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Center in Sta. Rosa City.
Klisura, current holder of the league’s scoring record, was at her best in the deciding set as she powered the Asset Managers to their fourth consecutive victory in this prestigious club league bankrolled by Rebisco, Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
With the triumph, Cocolife climbed the team standings with a 4-2 win-loss mark, a couple of games behind unbeaten Petron (5-0) and F2 Logistics (2-1) in this tourney that also has Mikasa,
Asics, Senoh, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
The Blaze Spikers, however, still have a chance to further solidify their hold of the top spot as they are clashing with rival Foton at press time.
Klisura, who dazzled the crowd with her electrifying performance, delivered a solid all-around effort as she fired 19 kills, four blocks and three aces while Taylor Milton, Royse Tubino and Joanne Bunag backed her up at the attack zone with 13, 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
“Sara is an excellent player,” said Cocolife coach Moro Branislav, referring to her prized ward who played for him at the club level in Serbia before reuniting with him at Foton last year.
“She (Klisura) is a very good player. She’s a good scorer who commits very little mistakes. That’s why in the fourth set, after Generika won the third set, we decided to give (the ball) to Sara. It’s good that she delivered and helped us get this victory,” Branislav set.
After easily conquering the first two sets, the Asset Managers found themselves in trouble as the Lifesavers started to wake up from deep slumber.
With Darlene Ramdin of Trinidad and Tobago and Symone Hayden of United States asserting their dominance at the firing end, Generika-Ayala shattered the deadlock at 14 to claim a 20-16 lead en route to a 25-21 third-set victory.
But Klisura and the Asset Managers refused to give up.
Klisura, Tubino and Bunag erected a rock-solid defensive wall at the net early in the fourth set, allowing the Asset Managers to claim a 16-9 lead in the second technical timeout.
Then, Klisura engineered a scorching rally where she scored four kills and a block to put Cocolife at match point, 24-16, en route to the victory.
“Generika is a very good team,” said Branislav, whose team controlled the attack (50-47), blocking (7-2) and service (9-4) departments.
“But my team wants this victory very badly. This victory is important because it would put us in the top four. I’m glad that we were able to do what we have to do in the fourth set to get this win,” she added.
Ramdin finished with 25 points while Hayden chipped in 17 for the Lifesavers, who have yet to win in four matches under the mentorship of new coach Sherwin Meneses.
Games Tuesday (Imus Sports Center) 2 pm – Generika-Ayala vs Smart 4 pm – Sta. Lucia vs F2 Logistics