Odds even as Petron, F2 begin PSL battle
Based on the their lone meeting this conference, the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix championship series between F2 Logistics and Petron should be a tight, tough-to-call battle.
After all, F2 Logistics barely edged Petron in the elimination round, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, to dominate early in the conference.
But if one would go by the candid, post-semifinal pronouncements of Petron imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley, that match is not an accurate gauge of how the best-of-three title series would go.
“That was definitely not our best game when we played them,” said Stalzer, who is looking to give the Blaze Spikers their first Grand Prix title after two runner-up finishes to fallen champion Foton Tornadoes.
Game 1 is set at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre, preceded by the battle for third place between Foton and Cocolife at 4:15 p.m.
“Oh, we have exponentially gone better since then,” Stalzer added on Saturday, right after their four-set win that eliminated the Tornadoes, 30-28, 21-25, 25-23, 25-21.
For Hurley, their loss to F2 served as an impetus for Petron to work on the other aspects of their game.
“I’d like to thank F2, actually, because after that loss, that was the fire that we needed to really come together as a team and we really developed since then,” said Hurley.
“We have really come to know each other after that, so we bonded and work on our communication,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos.
The Blaze Spikers’ communication inside the court will be crucial against the Cargo Movers, whose main strength is familiarity considering that most of their players and coaches come from La Salle, the reigning UAAP champion.
F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus characteristically downplayed their chances and instead dwelled on how potent Petron’s lineup is, especially their imports and Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda.
“They are a disciplined team, but we are not that pressured,” said De Jesus. “Right now we are just preparing against them. Not all teams are given the opportunity to play the finals, now that we are here we will take advantage of that.”
Stalzer will be playing against former Jakarta Elektrik teammate Maria Jose Perez, the Cargo Movers spearhead.
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