De Jesus' pep talk fuels F2 Logistics in series equalizer
A little reminder from head coach Ramil De Jesus was enough to inspire F2 Logistics to keep their PSL Grand Prix title hopes alive.
4:00 p.m. –-- F2 Logistics vs Petron
F2 Logistics head coach Ramil De Jesus reminded his wards of their long history together in numerous championship battles.
Handling a team composed of generations of De La Salle University stars grizzled in UAAP wars and years of campaigning in the Philippine Superliga, De Jesus knew how to pump up the Cargo Movers.
Down in the 2017 best-of-three 2017 PSL Grand Prix championship after surrendering the series opener against a familiar foe in Petron, F2 Logistics completed a thrilling come-from-behind 25-20, 24-26, 14-25, 25-19, 15-4 win on Thursday to force a winner-take-all on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
All thanks to De Jesus’ pep talk to his locals after their disappointing straight sets, 14-25, 21-25, 16-25, Game 1 loss Tuesday.
“Siguro it was the first time makapasok ang iba sa amin sa finals sa Grand Prix,” said skipper Cha Cruz of her squad’s subpar performance in the series opener against the same team that dethroned F2 Logistics in the All-Filipino Conference Finals four months back.
“In-explain niya na magkakasama kami sa All-Filipino and nagpa-Finals kami,” added Cruz, who rallied the Cargo Movers in a dramatic fourth set comeback from a 0-9 deficit and a dominating finish in the fifth frame. “Ngayon may kasamang imports, he reminded us as well na wala na kaming chance or wala nang reason manibago pagdating sa Finals so lumabas game namin.”
The Cargo Movers came out smoking in the opening set of Game 2 only to fade in the next two frames. The Blaze Spikers seemed to be on the brink of winning their second Grand Prix crown since claiming the 2014 edition after building a 9-0 gap.
But a determined F2 Logistics side led by Cruz, Aby Marano, reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron, reserve libero CJ Saga and imports Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela and American Kennedy Bryan slowly chipped away their deficit before stealing the set.
It was all Cargo Movers in the fifth frame as the series goes the full distance.
The win gave F2 Logistics mentor De Jesus another shot at the elusive Grand Prix title. The multi-titled mentor lost in the Finals of the 2014 import-laden conference against Petron while handling the Generika Lifesavers.
Game 3 starts at 4:00 p.m.
The earlier announced exhibition match between Ateneo de Manila University and University of Sto. Tomas set at 1:00 p.m. will not push through.
In a statement by PSL chairman Philip Juico, the agreed match was cancelled after "a late announcement by Ateneo de Manila University officials caused the cancellation of the match they have earlier agreed to play."
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