Petron-F2 for the marbles
The Philippine Superliga’s heavyweight teams clash for a title for a record seventh time Thursday, with both Petron and F2 raring to end the season hoisting the championship trophy at the expense of the other.
It’s going to be just one game—a one-miss-you-die affair— Invitational Cup title between the Blaze Spikers and the Cargo Movers, who have lorded it over the past three years with their big-name stars and corporate backing.
“We are feeling excited, we missed (winning) this (conference) before,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos. “It’s not easy getting into the finals.”
The Blaze Spikers actually swept their way to the championship round, although their last two games saw an alarming trend where they bungled handling multiple match points in winning over Cignal and PLDT.
But Delos Santos said they “will grab this opportunity and try our best to prepare for one day.”
Petron has won six PSL conference titles but has yet to capture an Invitational crown. Of those championships, four were won at the expense of F2.
That makes the 6 p.m. decider at Ynares Center in Pasig another interesting chapter in their storied rivalry.
As usual, F2 Logistics coach Ramil De Jesus played down their chances. He has won two championship matches over Delos Santos, the most recent was last year’s Invitational.
“We are struggling with familiarity, especially with the setter and (Kalei) Mau,” said De Jesus. “So it’s the communication which will be the big factor. Although you can see that her (Mau’s) leadership is still there and she’s giving her 100 percent.’
The match is also the last outing for the Japan-bound national team members who will leave Oct. 20 for training in preparation for the Southeast Asian Games.
F2 Logistics has four members in Team Philippines, namely team captain Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili and Mau. On the other hand, Petron has Mika Reyes, Ces Molina and Rhea Dimaculangan.
Preceding the match is the battle for third place between Cignal and Foton at 4 p.m.