Lifesavers crush Cocolife for fourth-place finish

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Generika-Ayala banked on its red-hot attacks and solid services to make short work of Cocolife, 25-18, 26-24, 25-24, and end its campaign in the Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference on a high note on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

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Patty Orendain and Gen Casugod were impressive while Fiola Ceballos remained consistent for the Lifesavers who settled for a fourth-place finish in this prestigious women’s volleyball club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Mueller and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.

Michelle Gumabao of Cocolife engages Gen Casugod and Rosalyn Pepito of Generika in an aerial battle during the Belo PSL Invitational Conference on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Cignal is still facing Foton while Petron and guest team Kobe Shinwa Women’s University are locked in a fierce battle at press time to determine their final standing in this tourney that also has UCPB Gen as official insurance provider and Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner.

Orendain fired 13 attacks to finish with 15 points while Casugod had 13 markers laced with three aces to underscore the Lifesavers’ dominance at the attack zone, 43-29, and at the service box, 6-2.

Despite the impressive showing, Generika-Ayala coach Francis Vicente said the season-opening tourney served as an eye-opener as they prepare for the major battles – the All-Filipino Conference and the Grand Prix –set later in the year.

“Actually, we need to train more,” said Vicente, who is set to guide the national women’s team to the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Club Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games this August.

“Our performance in this tournament was on and off. There were times that we’re playing good; there were times that we’re playing sluggish. That’s what we need to develop. We need to have a killer instinct. But the team itself is already strong.”

Vicente added that the vast improvement of Casugod, his team captain who erupted for career-high 25 points in their classification round battle against Sta. Lucia, is a major development as well as their blocking and floor defense.

But still, they need to develop their chemistry, the camaraderie that would make new recruits Angeli Araneta, Patty Orendain, Bia General and Carol Cerveza embrace their winning philosophy.

“We need to develop the chemistry and camaraderie with one another,” said Vicente, whose wards had a good workout with the Japanese squad the other day.

“We need to put on the court whatever we learned in our friendly match with Kobe Shinwa and in the entire conference. We have to work on all of our lapses to prepare us for the All-Filipino Conference.”

Michele Gumabao and Wensh Tiu delivered eight points apiece for the Asset Managers, who settled for a fifth place finish after clobbering the Lady Realtors in their classification match last Friday.

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