Cargo Movers grab third place, outlast Lady Troopers in 5 sets
Mark Escarlote on Dec 08, 2016 08:23 PM
F2 Logistics survived a five-set challenge from RC Cola-Army to pocket the bronze in the PSL Grand Prix.
F2 Logistics salvaged a third place finish but not after going through the wringer to defeat the pesky RC Cola-Army Lady Troopers, 25-13, 25-20, 20-25, 20-25, 18-16, Thursday in the 2016 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at The Arena in San Juan.
The Cargo Movers needed a big lift from Mika Reyes in a crucial play that gave F2 Logistics its third match point before Lady Troopers import Kierra Holst overcooked her crosscourt kill to hand the reigning All-Filipino champions a podium finish.
“In-encourage ko lang sila na rumeceive, na maging aggressive sa blocking at sa floor defense (sa fifth set),” said Cargo Movers coach Ramil De Jesus. “Kasi hindi namin mahuli si Jovelyn (Gonzaga). Sabi ko kay Ara (Galang) off timing ka eh. ‘Yun ‘yung hirap na hirap siyang kumuha ng left-handed.”
American reinforcement Hayley Spelman scored 26 points with 23 coming kills while Abigail Marano and Ara Galang finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively, for F2 Logistics.
The Cargo Movers swept Army in two meetings in the prelims and looked like heading for another rout after two sets in the knockout battle for third. But the Lady Troopers, who tried to give retiring setter Tina Salak a fitting farewell, had something else in mind after mounting a rally to even the match.
F2 Logistics reached match point, 14-12, on a quick kill by Marano in the deciding frame. Jovelyn Gonzaga answered with two straight points for a deuce before Salak pulled a sneaky drop to give the Lady Troopers a 15-14 lead.
A kill by Spelman and an error by Honey Royse Tubino put the Cargo Movers back on top, 16-15. Holst evened the frame at 16.
“’Yun ang sakit ng team na kapag ahead ng one set or two sets. Noong third set lamang na kami 20-16 nakikita ko na at napapansin na medyo mababaw ang focus at ‘yun naman ang sinamantala ng Army,” said De Jesus. “Maganda ‘yung naging paikot ng tao ni Kungfu (Reyes) and hindi naka-receive ang team sa service ni Bautista hanggang sa ayun nagtuluy-tuloy na at nalipat na sa kanila 'yung momentum. Na-pressure ang team.”
Holst finished with 21 points including 18 attacks, Gonzaga smashed 17 kills in her total of 19 markers while Tubino got 14 points for Army.
The 40-year old Salak, who played for the national team that won bronze in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games in Manila, dished out 22 excellent sets in her last game for the Lady Troopers.
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