Familiarity and faith in each other served as the main weapons of F2 Logistics in its journey to the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament title.
Cargo Movers’ coach Ramil de Jesus said their deep familiarity with the system paid off when they dominated Foton in a thrilling best-of-three finals duel to win their first crown in the country’s most prestigious league bankrolled by KLab Cyscorpions, Mikasa, Mueller and Asics with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Bannered by the stars of reigning UAAP champion La Salle, the Cargo Movers went back to basic and stuck to their system to hammer a pulsating 18-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19 win in Game 3 to formally clinch the title.
In that game, F2 Logistics had a shaky start but made some key adjustments down the stretch while coming up with a more solid reception and loaded services to push the Tornadoes out of their comfort zone.
“It was the familiarity in our system that pulled us through,” said de Jesus, who started calling the shots for the Lady Spikers in 1998 to become one of the most decorated coaches in the country with nine UAAP crowns.
“There were sets where I was using the core of our UAAP champion team. We already know each other as a team so the unforced errors were being lessened.”
The Cargo Movers’ march to the crown wasn’t easy.
After winning its first nine games, F2 Logistics found itself in trouble when Foton clobbered it in the crucial stretch of the second round. The setback relegated the Cargo Movers to the second seed in the semifinals where they were stacked against Petron – the reigning champion that is bannered by veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and a group of young spikers.
F2 Logistics crushed the Tri-Activ Spikers in three sets to march to the best-of-three titular showdown with reigning Grand Prix champion Foton oozing with confidence.
“Foton is such a strong team. All of them are also experienced,” he said. “But we took it as a challeng. We took it as an opportunity to stick together as a team.”
True enough, after winning Game 1 in a heart-stopping fashion, the Cargo Movers found themselves in trouble after the Tornadoes stormed back to win Game 2 in four sets.
But instead of succumbing to pressure, the Cargo Movers made some key adjustments by giving seldom-used Cyd Demecillo a bigger role on both end while cutting down their errors and improving their reception and services in Game 3.
“Even if she’s not scoring much, her (Demecillo) contribution to the team was enormous. I know her so much and I know what she’s capable of doing. I have strong faith in her,” de Jesus said, adding that winning the title has been the goal right from the start, especially since he has yet to win a crown outside the collegiate ranks.
“We will not work hard if we’re not dreaming to win the title. That is the greatest dream of any coach. And for me, I think it’s a mission accomplished.”