Reigning champion F2 Logistics refused to relinquish its throne as it crushed Petron, 25-17, 25-22, 25-19, in Game 2 and forged a winner-take-all battle in their Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix best-of-three titular showdown last night at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Venezuelan Maria Jose Perez delivered but it was the Cargo Movers’ all-out effort at the defensive end and mental toughness that allowed them to level the series of this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Isuzu and UCPB Gen with ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.
Kill-or-be killed Game 3 of this battle that also has Mikasa, Asics, LGR, Grand Sport and Senoh as technical sponsors is set on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Perez, reigning Most Valuable Player displayed her championship form as she tallied 17 kills and three blocks for 20 points while Ara Galang and Aby Maraño chipped in 11 and nine markers for the Cargo Movers who marched to the battle eager to bounce back from a sorry five-set meltdown in Game 1.
“This time, we’re more mentally prepared,” said F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, whose wards emerged with more spikes, 40-35, and blocks, 11-7, than the Blaze Spikers.
“It’s supposed to be our last game – a do-or-die game for us. We don’t want to end our conference like this so we worked hard to get this victory.”
In Game 1, Petron was simply impressive.
After finding themselves down by two sets, American reinforcement Katherine Bell took over and put Petron back in the thick of things as she scored eight of the Blaze Spikers’ last nine points in the deciding set.
This time, the Cargo Movers didn’t allow her to do damage.
Bell was limited to only 12 kills and three blocks to finish with only 15 points — her lowest output since coming in as replacement to injured Hillary Hurley last week.
Five-year veteran Lindsay Stalzer was also not in the groove knocking down only 13 kills and two blocks for the Blaze Spikers, who gave away 19 points off turnovers.
“We’re not aiming to stop Bell; all we want is to neutralize her production. I think we’re successful in doing that,” said Laniog after witnessing Bell’s 42-point eruption in Game 1.
“This team is a champion team. And tonight, we showed the heart of a champion.”
May 5 at Smart Araneta Coliseum live on ESPN5 and Cignal’s Hyper
6pm @F2CargoMovers vs Petron (Championship and awarding)
Tickets at gate or Ticketnet
Buy tickets online P170/ P270 / P370 https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/3932338/philippine-superliga-finalsgame-3-quezon-city-smart-araneta-coliseum