F2 forces rubber match for PSL Grand Prix title, survives Petron
F2 Logistics kept its chances alive for the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix title after denying Petron a Finals series sweep with a 25-20, 24-26, 14-25, 25-19, 15-4 victory in Game 2 Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Cargo Movers extinguished whatever fire the Blaze Spikers had in the fifth set with captain Cha Cruz punishing Petron’s Rhea Dimaculangan with an off-the-block kill that capped off a 10-3 start.
Cruz then worked her magic in the clutch with a service ace that put F2 at match point, 14-4, before Kennedy Bryan finished things off.
F2’s dominance, though, did not begin in the fifth set, as the Cargo Movers brushed off a 0-9 deficit in the penultimate set.
The Cargo Movers mounted a 13-4 run to tie the fourth set at 13-13 then followed it up with a 9-3 spurt that Maria Perez capped off with an off-the-block kill that put F2 up 22-18.
F2 head coach Ramil De Jesus said Petron might have lost focus in the fourth set after watching its lead dissipate and that change in attitude carried over to the final period when the Cargo Movers finally began to heat up.
“I think Petron were so far away from us in the fourth, and if you’ll look at it the game was almost finished,” said De Jesus in Filipino. “I think Petron got disappointed in the fifth set.”
“The only important thing for us was to get the scores as close as possible in the fourth set, then our breaks began to happen and the momentum carried over to the fifth set.”
Perez paced F2 with 25 points while Bryan and Aby Maraño had 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Lindsay Stalzer had 24 points to lead Petron while Hillary Hurley added 16.
The two teams’ attack stats were almost level with Petron and F2 tacking nine service aces apiece with the Cargo Movers having a slight 54-51 edge on scoring spikes.
It was in the defensive department that F2 had the distinct advantage, tallying 17 blocks to Petron’s five.
The deciding game is on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
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