Regaining the title will never be easy for F2 Logistics regardless of who between Petron and F2 Logistics emerges as the last team standing in their rubber match of their Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference semifinals series.
Cargo Movers’ head coach Ramil de Jesus said both the Blaze Spikers and HD Spikers are tough nuts to crack and they anticipate a grueling battle in the best-of-three finals showdown starting this Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Whoever wins their semifinal series will surely give us a hard time in the finals,” said de Jesus, a proud owner of 11 titles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
“Both Petron and Cignal are hungry. I’m sure whoever wins will go all out to win the crown.”
Both Petron and Cignal delivered a glimpse of their prowess in their first semifinal encounter.
Veterans Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga delivered a vintage performance to power the HD Spikers to a thrilling 25-20, 10-25, 16-25, 27-25, 15-11 that took away the Blaze Spikers’ twice-to-beat edge in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport.
Not to be outdone, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Rhea Dimaculangan also waxed hot, conniving with Frances Molina, Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons in putting up a brave stand before Petron surrendered in the crucial stretch of the deciding set.
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos admitted that they are in a very unfamiliar territory, but remained confident that his wards would display the heart of the champion when it matters most.
“We all know that both teams are playing at a very high level. We saw it in the preliminaries where we needed five sets to decide the match,” said Delos Santos, who carried the Blaze Spikers to eight straight finals appearances.
And that’s what de Jesus is wary.
“Petron has the championship experience and it will never lose the confidence it gained from past championships,” he said.
“Cignal, meanwhile, has been showing vast improvement. They are tall and have a good team chemistry.”
But regardless of whoever F2 Logistics would end up competing, the finals of this mid-season tourney that also has ESPN5 and Kapatid TV5 would surely be a slam-bang affair that would go down up to the last block, last ace and last kill.
“My players are hungry to raise the PSL trophy again,” de Jesus said.
“So expect us to do everything for the crown this Saturday.”