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Malabanan, Soltones show way as PLDT stuns F2 Logistics in CDO



Tiebreaker Times Malabanan, Soltones show way as PLDT stuns F2 Logistics in CDO News PSL  Roger Gorayeb Ramil De Jesus PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters Majoy Baron Kalei Mau Jerrili Malabanan Jasmine Nabor Grethcel Soltones F2 Logistics Cargo Movers Ara Galang Alyssa Eroa Aby Marano 2019 PSL Season 2019 PSL All Filipino Conference
Photo by Roman Prospero/PSL

The PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters pulled the upset rug underneath the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in a five-set thriller, 25-21, 26-28, 15-25, 25-19, 15-11, at the jampacked Corpus Christi Gym in Cagayan De Oro City, Saturday.

The Power Hitters ended their prelims campaign on a rousing note for a 6-8 card at sixth spot. Moreover, they dealt the Cargo Movers their second loss of the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference.

“Natutuwa naman ako papunta ako sa crossover ng maganda laro namin,” said PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb, whose squad has yet to determine its opponent in the knockout quarterfinals as Generika-Ayala (8-6), Foton (7-5) and Cignal (7-6) continue to jockey for positioning.

A seesaw battle ensued in the decisive fifth set.

Tied at 9, the returning Kim Fajardo tried to tip the scales to her team’s favor in the service area but her attempt, unfortunately, sailed wide. This changed the complexion of the match, as Jerilli Malabanan hammered consecutive attacks followed by Sasa Devanadera’s off-the-block hit to put PLDT ahead by four, 13-9.

Kim Kianna Dy stopped the bleeding for F2 Logistics, but Malabanan yet again delivered the differential hit to put her team at match-point. Though Kalei Mau gave the Cargo Movers a gasp of air, Grethcel Soltones swiftly nailed the fatal blow in the ensuing play.

“Lahat sila tuwang tuwa ako sa laro nilang lahat. Si Jerrili lalo na nung dulo,” Gorayeb added. “Masaya ako para sa team namin pwede naman pala e. Bakit ngayon na lang diba, sana noon pa. Pero sige meron pa namang chance e.”

PLDT skipper Malabanan finished with 21 points built on 18 points and three aces.

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Soltones, who towed her team in the fourth set, scattered another triple-double. She also had 21 points — from 19 attacks and two aces — to go along with 24 excellent digs and 19 excellent receptions.

Aiko Urdas supplied 10 points while Jasmine Nabor tossed 31 excellent sets laced with six points. Alyssa Eroa patrolled on defense with 24 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions.

On the other hand, the Cargo Movers slid to an 11-2 slate.

Mau had another triple-double outing that went down the drain. The Fil-Hawaiian poured in a game-high 28 points laced with 19 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions.

Ara Galang contributed 19 points off 15 attacks and four blocks in a losing cause. Meanwhile, Majoy Baron also had four blocks for 18 points. Aby Maraño managed 12 markers.

Fajardo, who entered the match late in the opening frame, tossed 15 excellent sets on top of two points.

F2 Logistics looks to dispel its two-game dry spell when it faces fourth seed Cignal on Tuesday at the Malolos Sport and Convention Center.