Russian import lifts Generika over Foton for win no. 1

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -- Generika brushed off another rusty start before unleashing the killer blows down the stretch to pull off a masterful 15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-15 conquest of Foton in the 2014 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by Asics Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

With Russian reinforcement Natalia Korobkova leading the charge, the Life Savers were simply unstoppable in the last two sets to clobber the Tornadoes and coast to their first win in three starts in the women's division of this prestigious inter-club tournament organized by Sports Core with Air 21, My Phone, Via Mare, Mikasa, Mueller Sports Medicine, Healthway Medical, Generika Drugstore, LGR and Jinling Sports as technical partners.

A seasoned international campaigner who saw competitive action in the United States, Turkey and Italy, Korobkova was impressive as she knocked down 16 kills and five blocks to finish with 21 points while local hitters Stephanie Mercado and Abigail Marano chipped in 10 and 15 points, respectively, for the Life Savers who are in dire need of a win to catch up with leaders Petron, Cignal HD and RC Cola-Air Force.

Also making their presence felt were bench players, led by Divine Eguia and the dazzling Michelle Gumabao.

"It's good that the bench players stepped up," said de Jesus, noting the significant contributions of his shock troopers. "Good things will happen if they keep on playing like that. Volleyball is a team game. Hindi pwedeng isa o dalawang tao lang ang magtrabaho. Everybody should step up and deliver."

The only missing link, however, was the sluggish performance of Generika's 19-year old setter, Miyu Shinohara, who registered only 28 excellent sets.

"We know that Japanese setters have a different system compared to Russians," de Jesus said.

"Sa Japan kasi, more fast plays and low sets. Eh yung import namin from Russia gusto puro high ball, so nahihirapan yung setter. Hindi pa sya masyadong consistent sa magse-set ng high ball."

But the sluggish playmaking was hardly a factor, especially with Korobkova asserting her dominance against the hapless Foton defenders.

In fact, with Foton ahead entering the first technical timeout in the fourth set, 8-6, Kurobkova caught fire as she connived with Mercado and Marano in igniting a scorching rally to give the Life Savers a 16-11 lead .
Generika never looked back as it unleashed another furious run for a huge 23-12 advantage before scoring on a double-block to formally seal the victory.

Another Russian in Irina Tarasova tallied 16 points while her partner, Elena Tarasova, added 14 to lead the Tornadoes, who failed to draw significant numbers from their locals to remain winless in four outings.











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