F2 Logistics completed an amazing Game 1 comeback to survive rival Petron in five sets, 18-25, 25-23, 20-25, 29-27, 18-16, and inch closer from getting its sweet revenge and the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference championship on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
As expected the collision of the country’s two best club teams made another epic match just in Game 1 of their best-of-three finals series.
But the Cargo Movers played more resilient as they erased the Blaze Spikers’ 2-1 set lead and hung on tight in the neck-and-neck fifth set with Majoy Baron nailing the two winning points to draw the first blood after a classic two-hour and 24-minute battle.
“Petron is really a strong team. We had a hard time in passing and had a lot of unforced errors,” said F2 Logistics Ramil De Jesus on their 39 errors.
“I just told my players that this is a championship game. They have to show who they are and the national team players have to prove that they are deserving of that spot.”
Ara Galang led the way with 18 points including nine excellent receptions while Baron, who made the match point-clinching running attack and the winning service ace, finished with 15 points off eight kills, four blocks and three aces.
Aby Maraño was also instrumental with 10 points as well as Des Cheng and Michelle Morente who added nine and seven markers respectively. Setter Kim Fajardo scattered 33 excellent sets on top of five hits.
Galang gave the Cargo Movers a 13-10 breather in the fifth but a service error from Kianna Dy before Sisi Rondina’s hit cut it down to one, 13-12.
Galang stopped the bleeding and put her team at match point 14-12, only for Cheng to overcook an attack to get blocked by Mika Reyes. Petron forced a deuce before Baron came to the rescue.
The Cargo Movers survived four match points in the fourth set before Petron’s Rhea Dimaculangan and Rondina committed a crucial miscue.
Baron blocked Rondina to force a deciding fifth set.
Reyes and Bernadeth Pons topscored Petron’s collective effort with 14 points apiece while Aiza Maizo Pontillas chipped in 13 hits. Rondina and Ces Molina, who played through a stress fracture on her shin, added 12 markers each.
July 28 Ynares Sports Arena Pasig
5pm Petron vs aF2 Logistics
Aug 4 5pm Smart Araneta Coliseum (if needed)
P350/P200 Tickets at gate or at SM Tickets,
All Finals games are live on ESPN5 and Cignal’s Hyper
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