After previously squandering a two-set advantage, F2 Logistics evaded a meltdown of epic proportions.
The Cargo Movers regained their lethal form just in time and quelled the Cignal HD Spikers, 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 15-8, in Game One of the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference Finals, Saturday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“Wala akong inexpect na madaling laban. Nag-expect talaga kami ng ‘di madaling laban,” F2 Logistics head coach Ramil De Jesus said. “Nire-remind ko lang sila na sabi ko, ‘Forget the first set to the fourth set’. Kagandahan lang, sa amin napunta yung breaks.”
Trailing by a two-set margin, Cignal leaned on their vaunted wall in the face of adversity. The HD Spikers roamed ferociously along the net, clamping down on the Cargo Movers.
Suddenly, F2 Logistics saw their high-octane offense stagnate, as the HD Spikers slowly mounted a resurgence and whittled away the set deficit.
Cignal then thought they had the fourth set in hand with a 23-14 cushion, and a decider was already inevitable. But the Cargo Movers were able to snatch momentum late in the same frame after they rattled off a bevy of attacks. This allowed F2 Logistics to pick up steam entering the deciding frame.
The Cargo Movers then carried their momentum in the final stanza, racing to a 12-6 gap and never looking back.
Mau took the bulk of scoring with 27 points, all but two coming from the attacks. The 6-foot-2 Fil-Hawaiian led all scorers in the match that lasted for 164 minutes..
Ara Galang and Majoy Baron were also instrumental in the five-set triumph. The former had 11 points — off nine attacks — to go along with 10 receptions. The latter supplied 11 markers as well, including six aces and two blocks.
Kim Dy contributed nine points, spiked by four blocks. Kim Fajardo tossed 17 excellent sets on top of four blocks.
On the other hand, Janine Navarro spearheaded the charge for Cignal. She dialed in all of her 16 points via attacks.
Jovelyn Gonzaga, who played her fourth five-setter in a five-game span, willed a double-double of 12 points and 33 excellent digs. Alohi Robins-Hardy churned out 11 markers laced with 17 excellent sets. Jheck Dionela patrolled the floor and collected 41 excellent digs and 18 excellent receptions.
Game Two will be on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.