F2 Logistics hammered Foton from the service box before going for the kill to pull off an impressive 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16 victory in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday March 17 at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.
Stacked against the taller Tornadoes, the Cargo Movers had a strong start and an even stronger finish to notch their third straight victory in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
With the win, F2 Logistics tightened its grip on the second spot with a 5-1 (win-loss) card to move closer behind bitter rival Petron, which shut down its first round campaign with an immaculate 7-0 slate in this league that also has Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
Venezuelan Maria Jose Perez, reigning Most Valuable Player, sizzled with 22 kills and two blocks to finish with 25 points while American Kennedy Bryan delivered 15 attacks for a 17-hit effort for the Cargo Movers, who asserted their dominance early on with Kim Fajardo unloading bombs from the service box.
A former University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Best Server awardee, Fajardo tallied six of the Cargo Movers’ 13 total aces, a fitting follow up to her five-ace output when they clobbered Cignal last Thursday.
“We know that they (Foton) are tall, so to take away that advantage and force them to work for their first ball, we have to come up with strong services,” said F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, who is subbing in for 10-time UAAP champion coach Ramil de Jesus.
“Our target going into this game is to have a strong start. I’m glad that we managed to accomplish that and get this important victory.
Laniog said the job is not yet done.
The Cargo Movers will be facing Generika-Ayala in their last assignment in the first round on Tuesday for a win that will cement their hold of the second spot and avoid a second-round collision with powerhouse Petron.
“We’re improving every game. Our performance as a team is getting more fluid. But this is a long tourney, we still to work hard because other teams are also preparing,” said Laniog, whose wards turned a 10-all count into a 23-15 lead in the fourth set en route to the victory.
Veteran Cha Cruz finished the job with back-to-back hits before Aby Marano came up with a booming block in the ensuing play for the match point.
Brooke Kranda and Elizabeth Wendel knocked down 17 and 16 points for the Tornadoes who suffered their fourth loss in six matches.