F2 Logistics and Petron booked a dream finals duel when they crushed their respective foes in Game 2 of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix best-of-three semifinal series last night at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez was at her best, delivering crucial hits to tow the Cargo Movers to a 25-19, 25-18, 25-21 domination of Foton in the first match of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Few hours later, it was Petron’s turn to march to the finals when they clobbered Cocolife, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16, in the featured battle of this tourney that also has Senoh, Mikasa, Asics, LGR and Grand Sport as technical sponsors.
Game 1 of the best-of-three finals is set on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Perez, reigning Most Valuable Player tallied 19 kills for a game-high 21 points while American Kennedy Bryan chipped in 10 markers for F2 Logistics, which drew impressive performance from local stars Aby Maraño, Cha Cruz and Kim Fajardo.
Marano and Cruz delivered eight markers apiece while Fajardo did a marvelous job calling the plays with 28 excellent sets.
“The mindset of the players is to defend the title,” said F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, adding that his players are slowly gaining the same chemistry and confidence that gave them their first Grand Prix crown last year.
“Our chemistry is improving and our connection is getting better. We know that we have a shallow bench. So this kind of improvement can definitely help us where we want to be.”
With Fajardo setting the table, the Cargo Movers coasted to a 2-0 set lead and opened the third set with a 15-10 advantage.
Import Channon Thompson and Jaja Santiago tried to restore order and pulled the Tornadoes closer, 20-22, but Perez delivered a pair of booming attacks from the open position to capture the match point, 24-20.
“We tried to push Thompson and their outside hitters to commit misreceptions,” Laniog said. “When they started to lose their passing and commit reception errors, we knew that we have a chance to win the game.”
Elizabeth Wendel and Thompson finished with 11 and 10 markers while Santiago and Maika Ortiz chipped in nine markers apiece for the Tornadoes who were relegated to the battle for bronze medal together with the Asset Managers.
May 1 at Smart Araneta Coliseum
All games are live on ESPN5/Cignal’s Hyper. Buy tix at gate.
415pm Foton vs Cocolife (battle for bronze)
7pm @F2CargoMovers vs Petron (Championship game 1)
May 3 @FilOilSanJuan
7pm @F2CargoMovers vs Petron (Championship game 2 and awarding)
May 5 @FilOilSanJuan (If Necessary)
7pm @F2CargoMovers vs Petron (Championship and awarding)