After taking a 2-0 sets lead, the defending champions crumbled in the next three frames to allow Petron to take the series edge.
The Cargo Movers, however, didn’t have to look far for inspiration. A day before Game Two, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers claimed the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball championship.
F2 Logistics, La Salle, and even La Salle’s senior high recruits — fondly called the Baby Spikers — all practice at the same time at the Enrique Razon Sports Center, under the same militaristic head coach in Ramil De Jesus.
“After their game, we were congratulating them and we were like kami naman, extend nating ‘to hanggang Sabado,” said Aby Maraño, a three-time UAAP champion with the Lady Spikers.
“I’m really happy for them because we’re just like one team, we practice together, and I know the girls. I got the inspiration to win the championship from them also,” shared F2 Logistics’ Venezuelan import MJ Perez.
De Jesus, who has taken more of a supervisor role with the Cargo Movers, relishes managing more than one team. In this case, he used the success of one team fired up the other.
“Siguro, na-motivate sila after noong loss nila nung Tuesday. Then nag-champion ‘yung La Salle noong Wednesday,” De Jesus said.
“Malaking bagay na nakita nila ‘yung mga bata nakita nila mag-champion, nandito sumusuporta.”
Everyone under De Jesus is treated like family. Even F2 Logistics’ imports have become honorary Lady Spikers, making Maraño marvel at the sheer size of their makeshift family.
“Parang volleyball clinic nga kapag nagtetrain kami kasi sobrang dami namin.
“Kasama ‘yung senior high, kami, pati ‘yung college. Lahat kami isa lang ‘yung ginagawa,” expressed the fiery middle blocker. “Iba kasi ‘yung feeling na sabay-sabay kami nage-ensayo. Pare-parehas kami ng goal. Nakuha nila ‘yung kanila, kami naman dapat.”
Reigning PSL Most Valuable Player Perez echoes the sentiment.
“We practice there everyday, we played here last year. That’s something that inspires us imports because we know how they work. They’re like a family, they work hard for each other.”