Expect Generika to blossom into a solid contender with Ayala Corp. as its new backer in the 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference starting this Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Helmed by national women’s team head coach Francis Vicente, the Lifesavers will now be called Generika-Ayala, giving them the financial muscle and stability to challenge other giant companies like San Miguel Corp. MVP Group of Companies, Foton, Cocolife and Sta. Lucia Land, Inc.
Two-time champion Petron banners San Miguel Corp. while Cignal carries the colors of the MVP Group of Companies.
Not to be outdone, Foton and Cocolife are also solid forces while Sta. Lucia is expected to make a big impact in its debut.
The last time Ayala got involved in competitive sports was during the 1990s when it paraded a glamour team in Purefoods Hotdogs in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Jojo Lastimosa, Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codiñera served as its poster boys before the company sold its franchise to SMC in 2001, paving the way for San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc. to control the basketball team.
Now, Ayala is making a return in a big way.
“In sports, we see the potential of how our athletes can become advocates of health and wellness and drivers of positive change in the communities that we serve,” said Ayala Corp. managing director and public affairs group head Rene Almendras during the team launch graced by PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico and PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara yesterday at the Ayala Tower One.
Generika Drugstore COO Jay Ferrer said their partnership with Ayala Corp. also aims to improve the landscape of Philippine volleyball.
“We at Generika are very happy to have Ayala as a partner in our health and wellness advocacy specifically to support young and promising athletes of today,” Ferrer said. “Together with Ayala, we can definitely develop a stronger and bolder team that will eventually help improve the landscape of Philippine volleyball.”
A handful of new faces will banner the Lifesavers, who finished fifth in the PSL Grand Prix last year.