BATANGAS CITY — F2 Logistics weathered the furious late-game rally mounted by Cignal to eke out a heart-stopping 25-18, 25-17 21-25, 25-22 victory in the 2016 PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.
In dire need of a win that will intensify their chances to advance to the final round, the Cargo Movers fought tooth and nail up to the very end to close the second round of this prestigious inter-club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner on a sizzling note.
F2 Logistics finished the elimination round with a 4-2 mark, installing it in a strategic position to march into the final round should Cignal and Foton surrender one of its three remaining games in the third round starting this Tuesday at the Imus Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, Petron flashed its championship stance to destroy neophyte New San Jose Builders, 25-20, 25-16, 25-8, in the first game. Aiza Maizo-Pontillas came through with 11 kills for a team-high 12 points, but it was a total team effort as the Tri-Activ Spikers launched a telling rally in the latter part of the first set that
broke the back of the Victorias.
New San Jose Builders bombed out of the tourney without a single win in five games.
But it was the encounter between the Cargo Movers and the HD Spikers which escalated into a full-blown war, much to the delight and excitement of the large weekend crowd that trooped to the venue to witness topnotch volleyball action.
With F2 Logistics comfortably ahead in the fourth set, 21-12, Cignal launched a blistering rally led by veteran Michelle Laborte that turned the match into a bail-biter. The HD Spikers inched closer 19 – 22 off a single block by Laborte but the Cargo Movers responded with a pair of attacks to clinch the match point.
Aby Maraño then punished the defense with a running spike from the open position to seal the victory for the Cargo Movers who are looking forward to a blockbuster battle in the final round against a top team from Thailand.
“This game is very crucial because we want to play against an international team. That’s our goal,” said Cruz, speaking on behalf of head coach Mayie Prochina who wasn’t in the sidelines due to personal reasons. “Although we still can’t say that we will make the final round, we won’t stop working. We will still train and do everything to
remain in good condition.”
Cruz erupted for 20 points built on 15 kills and three service aces while former De La Salle University teammates Paneng Mercado and Aby Maraño chipped in 13 and 12 markers respectively for F2 Logistics, which is slowly getting comfortable playing with each other.
“Since we’re a new team, we’re still in the process of adjusting with each other,” Cruz added. “But this game showed that we are already getting there. I love the chemistry and the teamwork that we showed especially in the fourth set.”
Click for a photoset by Roman Prospero
March 15 (Tuesday)
4:00 PM – RC Cola Army vs. Foton Toplander (Live on TV5, AksyonTV)
6:00 PM – Petron Tri-Activ Spikers vs. Cignal HD Spikers (Live on AksyonTV)
General Admission Php 200 – Free Seating (all areas)