By Jerome Lagunzad
(Ynares Sports Arena)
5 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Petron
(Cargo Movers lead series 1-0)
F2 Logistics intends to complete its redemption bid while Petron seeks a lifeline as they clash anew today in Game 2 of their best-of-three finals for the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference crown at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Game is at 5 p.m., with the Cargo Movers eyeing nothing less than a strong follow-up to a come-from-behind 18-25, 25-23, 20-25, 29-27, 18-16 victory last Thursday night and turn the tables on the Blaze Spikers who dethroned them in the Grand Prix tournament last year.
However, it’s easier said than done and F2 Logistics coach Ramil De Jesus has reminded his charges for an expected fightback from Petron with its back against the wall.
“Well, Petron is always ready to bounce back so we have to be ready any time or any situation we’re facing them,” he said. “This is a championship game. We have to give ourselves in this battle. We have nobody to bank on but ourselves.”
That’s exactly what the Cargo Movers did in the opener, with Ara Galang leading the way with 18 hits and Majoy Baron adding 15 points, built on eight kills, four blocks and three aces that proved enough to overcome an uncharacteristic 39 errors.
But in order to claim the franchise’s third overall title, F2 Logistics will need to display a near flawless performance on both ends since Petron is capable of bouncing back, just like what it did in the season-opening tournament.
It remains to be seen, however, if the Blaze Spikers can repeat such showing without the presence of hard-hitting American imports Katherine Bell and Lindsay Stalzer plus Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda.
Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos believes they can do so, as long as they will keep their focus laser-sharp throughout with their title hopes on the line.
“For us, we have to accept what happened in Game 1, move on, be more mature and more ready for the next game,” he said. “Definitely, it won’t be an easy game. Both teams will be all out again and I think it all boils down to the heart, pride and eagerness to win.”
Delos Santos will bank anew on the proven championship core of Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan, Mika Reyes and Frances Molina anew while De Jesus will draw strength again from the likes of Aby Maraño, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy and star libero Dawn Macandili.