Facing a previously-unsolvable puzzle, the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers showed their championship mettle, snapping the Petron Blaze Spikers’ 17-game winning streak and taking Game One of the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals, 25-20, 16-25, 25-23, 25-23, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Cargo Movers started the match with a splendid finishing push in the first set. Majoy Baron, Lindsay Stalzer, and MJ Perez provided the big punches in the 5-1 set-clinching run.
Petron then responded in the second set, burying F2 Logistic in a 17-9 hole. The pivotal third set went down to the wire, with Petron erasing a 20-14 F2 Logistics advantage and knotting the frame at 23. Stalzer rescued the Cargo Movers from the collapse, willing her squad for the next two points off clutch transition plays.
Stalzer continued her incendiary performance in the fourth frame, giving the Cargo Movers a 22-20 lead and fending off Petron. Perez then finished the match, scoring the next three points.
“Relaxed kasi ‘yung mga players ko. Sabi ko naman na nothing to lose kasi ever since, alam naman nating malakas ‘yung Petron,” said F2 Logistics head coach Ramil De Jesus on his team’s focused demeanor.
“Tutal, animan lang naman diyan sa loob. Ang maganda kasi, gusto ng imports namin manalo. Sila ‘yung kailangang bumuhat sa team and pinakita namin,” he added. “‘Yung big question sa team na ‘Kaya ba natin to?’ Ngayon, kaya na namin.”
MJ Perez, who played in her first match against Petron this conference, led the Cargo Movers with 24 points, while Stalzer finished with 21 markers off 20 attacks.
Katherine Bell tallied 30 markers for the Blaze Spikers, while Stephanie Niemer added 20.
F2 Logistics can win their fourth title with a victory in Game Two on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
F2 Logistics (3) – Perez 24, Stalzer 21, Maraño 9, Baron 7, Galang 6, Cabanos 3, Macandili (L)
Petron (1) – Bell 30, Niemer 20, Palma 7, Reyes 7, Molina 4, Cortez 2, Pontillas 2, Dimaculangan 1, Legacion 0, Lazaro (L)