F2 Logistics claims first Finals seat
Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez of F2 Logistics gets a kill through the block of Cocolife's Joanne Bunag.
F2 Logistics booked the first Finals ticket after taking down Cocolife, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17, Saturday in the knockout semifinals of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fueled by a large and boisterous crowd of supporters, the Cargo Movers were aggressive the whole game and kept pounding on the error-plagued Asset Managers to advance in their second straight championship appearance this season since a runnerup finish behind Petron in the All-Filipino Conference.
Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez smacked 16 attacks and a pair of aces to finish with 18 points for F2 Logistics. American reinforcement Kennedy Bryan got 13 markers while the trio of Kianna Dy, Aby Marano and setter Kim Fajardo combined for 13 points for the Cargo Movers.
Fajardo tallied 21 excellent sets in F2 Logistics’ 37 attack points while top libero Dawn Macandili had eight digs and six excellent receptions for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad, which received 27 free points off Cocolife's errors.
“Siguro mas nag-jell ang team ngayon then mas confident and mas gusto ng team na manalo ngayon,” said De Jesus, whose team reasserted its mastery over the same squad they defeated in the prelims but not after some scary moments in the opening set of their 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 win.
“Ayaw na nilang maulit ‘yung nangyari sa Bulacan na slow start, muntik na makuha ang set,” added De Jesus, who is looking to annex his first Grand Prix title since steering F2 Logistics to the 2016 All-Filipino Conference throne. “Sinabi ko na mas kailangan nating maging aggressive today compared ng first meeting namin.”
The Cargo Movers are still waiting for their best-of-three Finals series opponent starting Tuesday between back-to-back champion Foton and Petron, who are still playing as of posting time.
Cocolife took a 6-3 lead in the third set but gave F2 Logistics three straight points off errors that tied the frame at 6. The Asset Managers and Cargo Movers then engaged in a seesaw battle before F2 Logistics took an 18-16 lead followed by a 7-1 spurt to seal the win.
American import Shar Latai Manu-Olevao Asset Managers finished with 13 points while compatriot Taylor Milton added 10 for Cocolife, which will take on the loser between Foton and Petron in the knock battle for third place on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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