Kobe Shinwa Women’s University recovered from a third-set meltdown to register a 25-17, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18 victory over Petron and conquer the title of the 2017 Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference last night at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
On the same note, Cignal emerged as co-champion following an emphatic 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 win over Foton while Generika-Ayala crushed Cocolife, 25-18, 26-24, 26-24, to settle for the fourth place of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Mueller and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Petron, which waxed hot with an unbeaten streak in the classification phase, came up with a third-place finish after it surrendered a four-set decision to Cignal in the opening match of the final round Thursday.
Jovelyn Gonzaga of Cignal defended her Most Valuable Player title while Frances Molina of Petron and Rachel Anne Daquis of Cignal were the Best Outside Hitters; Chichiro Fujiwara of Kobe Shinwa and Maica Morada of Cignal were the Best Middle Blockers; Mary Grace Berte of Foton was the Best Opposite Spiker; Chie Saet of Cignal was the Best Setter; Jheck Dionela of Cignal was the Best Libero in this season-opening tourney that also has UCPB Gen as official insurance provider and Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner.
Mariko Fujiwara delivered 13 kills to finish with 14 points while Kana Edamatsu had 13 hits for the Japanese squad, which melted under pressure from the gallant home squad before engineering a fierce fightback in the fourth set.
“We had fun facing your team,” said Japanese coach Kiyokazu Yamamoto. “We hope you learned something from us the same way we learned something from you.”
Earlier, Patty Orendain fired 13 attacks to finish with 15 points while Gen Casugod had 13 markers laced with three aces to underscore the Lifesavers’ dominance at the attack zone, 43-29, and service box, 6-2.
Despite the impressive showing, Generika-Ayala coach Francis Vicente said the season-opening tourney served as an eye-opener on what they need to work on and improve by the time the major battles – the All-Filipino Conference and the Grand Prix – unfurl later in the year.
“Actually, we need to train more,” said Vicente, who is all 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.