MANILA, Philippines – Reclaiming their lost title will be the ultimate objective when F2 Logistics battles Cignal in Game 2 of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference finals on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Game time is at 7 p.m. with the Cargo Movers looking to finally capture the title that it lost when Petron dethroned them in a thrilling finale in 2017 before winning again in 2018.
Since acquiring the services of Filipino-American spiker Kalei Mau, the F2 Logistics has been almost invincible.
The Cargo Movers finished the elimination round with a 12-2 win-loss slate, before overcoming Sta. Lucia in the quarterfinals and Foton in the semifinals. They set up a best-of-3 finals series against Cignal, after the HD Spikers shocked Petron in their own semis encounter last week.
F2 Logistics moved to the brink of the title after overcoming Cignal in a hard-earned triumph last week. The Cargo Movers raced to a two-set lead until Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Alohi Robins-Hardy and the HD Spikers launched a furious comeback to drag the match to a deciding fifth set.
Fortunately for the Cargo Movers, the championship experience of Aby Marano, Ara Galang and Kim Fajardo as well as the volleyball prowess of Mau came through in the fifth, allowing them to escape with a nail-biting 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25 victory.
F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus said Game 2 would be much harder than Game 1.
"We're not expecting an easy fight," he said. "In fact, we're looking forward and prepared for a hard battle in Game 1."
Marano added that they would show up prepared to show that they deserve to regain the title that has eluded them for the past two years.
"Cignal pushed us to our limits so it is only fitting to double – or even triple – our performance in the next game," said Marano.
The HD Spikers, for their part, head into Game 2 with their spirits high after pushing F2 Logistics to a five-set battle in the series opener.
"Our confidence definitely soared after Game 1," said coach Edgar Barroga. "I like what I saw on my team. I saw the fire in their eyes and I know that nobody would back down without putting up a fight."
Team captain Daquis, who was the Most Valuable Player when Petron made historic sweep of the All-Filipino in 2015, stressed that the loss in Game 1 only fire them up.
"It was such a close and good fight," said Daquis. "The mere fact that we were able to play against them in five sets is already enough for us to be confident heading into Game 2. We just have to work hard to get that victory."
"Once we win Game 2, anything could happen."
Should Cignal prevail, Game 3 is set on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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