Generations collide in F2 Logistics-Cocolife semis match
F2 Logistics' Kim Fajardo and Dawn Macandili collide with the veteran duo of Tina Salak and Denden Lazaro of Cocolife for a spot in the 2017 PSL Grand Prix championship round.
4:00 pm – F2 Logistics vs Cocolife
6:00 pm – Petron vs Foton
The top seed F2 Logistics and upset-conscious Cocolife match has an interesting sidebar when the two teams clash in the knockout Final Four of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
Aside from the two squads looking to punch a ticket to the best-of-three Finals, the sudden death match will also feature the collision of two generations of local volleyball stars.
Game time is at 4:00 p.m.
On the Cargo Movers side, current national team members setter Kim Fajardo and libero Dawn Macandili banner the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad.
They will take on the duo of veteran playmaker Tina Salak and seasoned libero Denden Lazaro, both looking to prove that they can still pull the trigger to help the Asset Managers score another upset after taking down no. 4 seed Cignal last Thursday.
It will be an interesting matchup as Fajardo is considered as the heir apparent of Salak, who led the national team to numerous international battles including the country’s bronze medal finish in the 2005 Manila Southeast Asian Games, with both having superb decision making, leadership and veteran smarts inside the court.
Meanwhile, Macandili has been building her reputation as the country’s best defense specialist of late after Lazaro held the distinction a few years back. Fearless and willing to sacrifice their bodies to keep the ball alive, the two liberos share these traits with tenacity and dedication.
Though the Cargo Movers boasts of a deep and athletic lineup, De Jesus is still wary of Cocolife, a veteran-laden team composed mostly of former Army players and backed by American imports Taylor Milton and Shar Latai Manu-Olevao.
“Cocolife matagal na magkalilala. Mga players nila mostly magkakasama na sa Army, samahan pa ng mayos na import,” said the F2 Logistics mentor, whose squad easily disposed no. 8 seed Iriga City in their quarterfinals pairing last Tuesday.
But De Jesus sees the familiarity and cohesiveness of his team, which composed of the core of back-to-back UAAP champion De La Salle University, as an advantage to make a repeat of their straight sets win over the Asset Managers in the preliminary round.
“Ang advantage namin is siguro mas kilala na nila ang isa’t isa ngayon at mas napapaikot ni Kim ang rotation namin sa opensa,” said De Jesus, who is also banking on reliable imports American Kennedy Bryan and Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela.
Cocolife mentor Kungfu Reyes, on the other hand, hopes to use the momentum of their win against Cignal as fuel in their first-ever Final Four stint since joining the league early this year.
“Malaking achievement na sa amin itong makapasok sa semifinals,” said Reyes, noting the progress of his team after finishing seventh in the Invitational Conference and fifth in the All-Filipino Conference.
“Pero di kami dapat makuntento sa fourth. Dahil nandito na rin kami, gagawin na namin ang lahat para umakyat sa Finals,” he added.
The winner of the match will take on the survivor between three-peat-seeking Foton and Petron. Game 1 of the Finals is on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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