Having fought for all the marbles in the import-flavored 2019 PSL Grand Prix, defending champions Petron Blaze Spikers and perennial finalists F2 Logistics Cargo Movers will figure in another colossal clash on Thursday.
The match is a must-watch as both teams duke it out in a possible finals preview. But it will also be the first time Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos and his Blaze Spikers will face an F2 Logistics squad with Kalei Mau.
And in the Fil-Hawaiian sensation, Cargo Movers head coach Ramil De Jesus has a player whom his team can rely on to take the bulk of the scoring in pressure-packed situations.
“Yun yung kulang ng team namin – wala kaming go-to guy [katulad ni Kalei Mau],” the multi-titled mentor De Jesus said.
“Ito – alam natin na mataas yung percentage anytime kailangan namin ng isang go-to-guy, isang leader para lalong mahila yung team.”
But with or without the 6-foot-2 wing spiker, Delos Santos knows all too well that their arch-rivals are always a tough team to beat. Given this, he vowed that Petron will come prepared.
“Oo [andoon si Kalei Mau], pero always namang contender yung team nila at laging kailangan paghandaan,” the Women’s National Volleyball Team mentor moments after Petron’s come-from-behind win over Foton last Tuesday.
“Kung nag-effort kami ngayon, triplehin dapat namin. Pag-aaralan namin sila ng mabuti.”
In a rematch two months in the making, Delos Santos braces for a well-prepared Cargo Movers.
“And sigurado, paghahandaan din nila kami. Ready naman kami kailangan lang makapag-recover muna kami then practice kami,” the former FEU mentor said.
The same can be said of F2 Logistics. Despite receiving a huge boost in Mau, De Jesus expects nothing less from a Petron squad that bagged the last two AFC titles.
“Hindi naman madaling kalaban yung Petron, so paghandaan na lang pagdating ng Thursday,” the La Salle strategist confided.
The last time they fought, a title was on the line. This time around, they will go to war with a pristine record at stake.
The two teams opened their campaign in the 2019 PSL All Filipino Conference on a rousing note. The Cargo Movers currently hold a 3-0 card, while the Blaze Spikers sit at 2-0.
With both riding unbeaten crests that are bound to crash head-on, the winning momentum could go either way. But one thing is for sure: it will open another thrilling chapter to a storied rivalry.
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