F2 Logistics weathers Cignal’s challenge, draws first blood
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 24, 2019 11:03 PM
F2 Logistics moved a step closer to claiming the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.
F2 Logistics got a big scare after squandering a two-set lead before hanging tough in the deciding frame to weather a determined Cignal side, 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 15-8, in Game 1 of the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Finals on Saturday at the Big Dome.
The Cargo Movers drew first blood in the best-of-three series but not after sweating it out in five sets to move a step closer to claiming their first AFC crown since winning it all in 2016.
Kalei Mau poured in 27 points with 25 coming off kills and added six excellent receptions for F2 Logistics. Ara Galang and Majoy Baron finished with 11 markers each.
F2 Logistics took advantage of the HD Spikers’ unforced errors and difficulty in controlling the first ball in the deciding frame to open 9-4 gap.
“Nu’ng nag-8-4 medyo kontrolado na namin na sitwasyon,” said F2 Logistics head coach Ramil De Jesus, whose wards will try to close the series on Tuesday at the MOA Arena.
The Cargo Movers went up 10-6 before Cignal coach Edgar Barroga burned his two challenges that were unsuccessful as F2 Logistics extended its lead to 12-6. Rachel Anne Daquis stopped the bleeding before Desiree Cheng put the Cargo Movers at match point.
Jovelyn Gonzaga saved a match point before F2 Logistics finished off the HD Spikers.
“Wala akong ini-expect na madaling laban. Ini-expect talaga namin na hindi madaling laban ang pagdadaanan namin,” said De Jesus.
Janine Navarro scored 16 points while Jovelyn Gonzaga had 12 markers for Cignal. Setter Alohi Robins-Hardy tallied 17 excellent sets on top of 11 points.
Meanwhile, Sisi Rondina delivered big as she came through with clutch hits to power Petron to a 28-26, 25-27, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12 win over Foton in the bronze-medal match.
Rondina, the reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player, scored five of Petron’s last six points for the Blaze Spikers, who were relegated to the consolation round following a pair of semifinal setbacks to Cignal.
Down, 5-9, in the fifth set, the Blaze Spikers inched to within two, 9-11, as Rondina put Petron at match point, 14-11.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat saved a match point, 12-14, before Rondina sealed the win for Petron.
Rondina finished with a game-high 33 points, built on 30 attacks, in the match that took almost three hours to finish.
Team captain Ces Molina had 15 points for Petron, while Mika Reyes and Remy Palma each added 11 markers.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat led the way for the Tornadoes, with 26 points, while Jaja Santiago chipped in 22, Mina Aganon had 11, Eya Laure scored 11 and Shaya Adorador contributed 10 markers.