IMUS CITY — F2 Logistics tries to tighten its hold of the second spot when they battle Sta. Lucia Realty in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Tuesday at the Imus Sports Center.
Action kicks off at 7 pm with the Cargo Movers gunning for their third victory in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, UCPB Gen and Rebisco with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Generika-Ayala and Smart shoot for their first victory when they collide in the 4:15 pm appetizer of this explosive double-header of this league that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Asics, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
Petron remains on top of the team standing with a 6-0 (win-loss) mark while F2 Logistics is far behind with 2-1 making this battle against Sta. Lucia very interesting and crucial for the reigning champion.
After opening their campaign on a winning note, the Cargo Movers suffered a little turbulence as they bowed to the Blaze Spikers in four sets in a fierce duel that served as a rematch of the action-packed best-of-three finals showdown last year.
But that setback is now a thing of the past as the F2 Logistics put clamps on Smart’s gem of an import Gyselle Silva from start to finish en route to an impressive 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 victory last week.
Silva, hard-hitting former Cuban national team player, was limited to her lowest scoring output of 17 points as Aby Marano, Kennedy Bryan, Lourdes Clemente and reigning Most Valuable Player Maria Jose Perez made life difficult for her.
“We forced her out of her comfort zone, which was a major part of our game plan,” said F2 Logistics head coach Arnold Laniog, adding that employing that kind of airtight defense against an elite team like Sta. Lucia will be easier said than done.
“We know that Sta. Lucia is a veteran team with a lot of weapons. As much as possible, we want to be at our best not only defensively, but also offensively, when we play against them. We will be ready – that’s for sure.”
True enough, the Lady Realtors will not be an easy foe.
In fact, in their previous encounter, Sta. Lucia displayed their deadly form as they clobbered Cignal, 32-30, 25-22, 25-21, also last week.
Sta. Lucia head coach George Pascua said they are now starting to jell as key local players like MJ Philips, Rebecca Rivera and Pam Lastimosa as well imports Kristen Moncks, Marisa Field and Bohdana Anisova are now getting familiar with his system.
“We’re slowly getting there,” said Pascua, the architect of Petron’s 13-0 sweep of the All-Filipino Conference in 2015 and Cignal’s conquest of the Invitational Conference last year.
“We started a little bit slow because we have a new system, but I told the team that we just have to be patient and trust the process. I’m glad that the team is now responding and we’re improving every game.”
F2 Logistics 2-1
Sta. Lucia 2-2
#PSLGrandPrix Tue Mar 13 at Imus Sports Center
415pm Smart Prepaid v Generika-Ayala (Live ESPN5)
7pm Sta Lucia v F2 Logistics (11:15pm on ESPN5)
Both games live on Cignal’s HYPER