Oragons shock Lady Realtors in debut
Serbian reinforcement Tamara Kmezic dropped 28 points to lead Iriga City past the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors.
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
4:15 p.m. –- Sta. Lucia vs Petron
7:00 p.m. –- Generika-Ayala vs Cignal HD
Newcomer Iriga City showed grit and composure down the stretch as the Oragons shocked Sta. Lucia, 15-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 15-13, Tuesday in the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Oragons turned to Serbian Kmezic and local star Grethcel Soltones in the fifth set to score an upset in their debut and join early winners Petron and defending champion Foton.
Iriga City climbed out of a deep 2-9 deficit in the deciding frame with a scorching 12-2 rally to turn things around and build a 14-11 cushion. The Lady Realtors saved two match points but a wide crosscourt hit by Danika Gendrauli sealed the two-hour, 19-minute duel.
The 6-foot-6 Kmezic, a former Serbian national team member, poured 28 points coming off 26 attacks, a kill block and an ace for the lady Oragons while Soltones had 15 markers with eight receptions and six digs in her return to the league after suiting up for Foton in the Invitational Conference early this year.
Japanese reinforcement Saam Miyagawa, who arrived two days ago, got 10 points while Katherine Villegas finished with eight for the Oragons, who blasted 59 kills.
“Siguro lucky lang. (Si Mayor Madelaine Alfelor) tuwang-tuwa siyempre. Pero step by step lang,” said Iriga City coach Parley Tupaz, who admitted that they are the underdogs coming into the conference.
“Eh ganoon talaga kasi kahit ikaw naman first-timer ka, ang tingin sa'yo mababa lang,” he added. “Syempre (morale booster) for next game against Generika pero nasa player ko naman ‘yan kung lalaro talaga sila.”
Fil-American Mar Jana Phillips dropped a career-high 26 points anchored on 21 attacks, three kill blocks and a pair of ace for Sta. Lucia.
Canadian Marisa Field finished with 15 points while Pam Lastimosa and Rialen Sante combined for 12 markers. Canadian national team libero Kristen Moncks got 14 excellent receptions and 12 digs in a lost cause for the Lady Realtors, whose Ukrainian import Bohdana Anisova is expected to arrive late Tuesday night.
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