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F2 Logistics claims franchise’s first-ever Grand Prix crown

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Known for sporting a deep lineup of locals, the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers finally proved that they can also win with imports

The Cargo Movers absorbed everything that the Petron Blaze Spikers hurled their way, and came away with the 2017 Chooks to Go-PSL Grand Prix title after a masterful performance in the winner-take-all Game Three, 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

F2 Logistics take their first Grand Prix title. This also marks head coach Ramil De Jesus’ first triumph in the import-laden conference.

Eventual-conference Most Valuable Player MJ Perez led the Cargo Movers with 24 points.

The Cargo Movers were dominant in the opening two frames.

F2 Logistics rolled with their newfound lineup from Game Two, using Cha Cruz as one of the open hitters and flipping import Kennedy Bryan into the starting opposite slot in place of Kianna Dy. The adjustment continued to work, as Cruz brought timely scoring, serving, and floor defense to boost F2 Logistics to a 12-6 lead in the first set. Petron quickly recovered via a 5-0 run that trimmed the deficit to one, 12-11. But the Cargo Movers regained momentum following a timeout and zoomed back on top, 18-12.

Cruz added 16 markers on 13 kills and three aces.

Petron languished all the way into the second frame. Struggling to pass and mount their offense, the Blaze Spikers went from being locked in a 14-all tie to being down big, 15-20, after a string Cruz’s sharp serves. Petron tried to rally back, but ended up giving three errors in F2 Logistics’ last five points.

Shrugging off their struggles in the first two sets, Petron finally came alive in the third frame, taking a 20-15 advantage and never looking back.

The fourth set then became an apt coronation for F2 Logistics, who blew past the Blaze Spikers with an early 8-4 salvo and kept them at bay.

Kennedy Bryan and Majoy Baron chipped in 12 points each, while Kim Fajardo glued things together by dishing out 30 excellent sets.

All three of Petron’s losses this conference came at the hands of F2 Logistics.

Ailing Blaze Spiker Hillary Hurley was the only Petron player to finish in double-digits with 25 points. Lindsay Stalzer was checked for the entire game as she was limited to just nine points.

F2 Logistics will have to defend their crown without their La Salle core next year, as the Grand Prix will open the 2018 PSL Season.

The Scores:

F2 Logistics (3) – Perez 24, Cruz 16, Baron 12, Bryan 12, Fajardo 9, Marano 3, Cheng 1, Santos 0, Dy 0, Macandili (L), Saga (L).

Petron (1) – Hurley 25, Stalzer 9, Molina 8, Palma 5, Dimaculangan 4, Reyes 3, Pons 3, Pontillas 2, Meneses 1, Rondina 0, Fukuda (L), Pineda (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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