Ramdin lifts Generika-Ayala past Cignal
Darlene Ramdin delivered crucial hits as Generika-Ayala escaped a gritty Cignal squad, 26-24, 18-25, 16-25, 25-22, 15-11, last night in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
A gem of an import from Trinidad and Tobago, Ramdin caught fire in the deciding set to power the Lifesavers to a thrilling win in this prestigious tournament bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
With the win, the Lifesavers shut down their first round campaign on a high note with a 2-5 win-loss mark in this battle that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Asics, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
Their placing in the second round, however, would be determined pending the result of the crucial battle between Sta. Lucia Realty and Foton, which is being played at press time.
Ramdin was on fire, delivering 23 kills, two blocks and an ace to finish with 26 points while Symone Hayden tallied 16 markers for the Lifesavers, who struggled early on with four straight setbacks before winning two of their last three games.
Unfortunately, star middle blocker Marivic Meneses failed to suit up as she had to take and academic examination at University of Santo Tomas.
With Bosnian import Sonja Milanovic spewing fire at the attack zone, the HD Spikers crawled back from a 5-8 deficit to tie the count at 11 in the deciding set.
Ramdin, however, unleashed a powerful backrow attack followed by an ace from Angeli Araneta to tow Generika-Ayala an inch closer to match point.
The Carribean star finished the job with back-to-back, leaving Milanovic and fellow import Jeane Horton shaking their heads in frustration.
“Darlene is a fighter. She plays her heart out even if she’s in pain,” said Generika-Ayala head coach Sherwin Meneses, beaming satisfaction over his wards’ impressive performance in the fifth set despite the HD Spikers’ dominance on defense with 18 blocks.
“I told the team that we should not commit unforced errors and improve our service-receive. Fortunately, our first ball worked that’s why our set plays became a little unpredictable in the fifth set.”
Milanovic erupted for a conference-high nine blocks on top of 25 kills to finish with 35 points while Horton chipped in 19 markers for the HD Spikers, who closed the first round with a 3-4 win-loss card.