PVL: Regine Diego hopes win over Creamline takes F2 to greater heights
MANILA, Philippines—F2 Logistics coach Regine Diego hopes their come-from-behind win over Creamline will light the fire under the Cargo Movers to become more consistent in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.
Four months ago, the Cargo Movers, powered by import Lindsay Stalzer and local spikers Kianna Dy and Kalei Mau, took down the Alyssa Valdez-led Cool Smashers in five sets during their first-ever meeting last November in the Reinforced Conference.
But they failed to use that win as extra motivation as they lost the more important games that shattered their semifinal hopes.
Fast forward to the second match of their brewing rivalry, F2 Logistics gave Creamline, sans injured Valdez, a deja vu with new heroes Myla Pablo, Aby Marano, and Ivy Lacsina stepping up when it mattered most to complete a come-from-behind 23-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-23, 16-14 victory in front of an ecstatic 6,765 crowd on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
This time, Diego, the lone female coach in the league, is hoping that her team will use their big win over Creamline as a springboard to rise in their remaining All-Filipino games
“This game is a good start. I hope this game will ignite the fire under the players. This is how it should be. And to be able to make our adjustments in training, we need this kind of mindset,” Diego said in Filipino. “Hopefully, our wins won’t end here. And their fire will continue to burn. We won’t stop working hard every day.”
The decorated high school coach relished the thrill of her first F2 Logistics-Creamline game in her first professional stint as her players never wavered despite trailing by two sets and falling on the verge of defeat with a 12-14 deficit in the fifth with the lucky breaks going on their side, Dy nailing a big block on Tots Carlos, and Lacsina showing nerves of steel from the service line.
“It’s meant to be for us. Breaks of the game. Kahit pagbalik-baliktarin mo, parang sa amin pa rin talaga,” Diego said. “Of course, we won’t be able to get this win without the hard work of the players. Although our opponents also worked hard, I respect them for that. But this time we wanted it more.”
“I didn’t expect the fans of Creamline to be that loud. I respect you guys for giving that kind of support. And also the F2 supporters, even though they were not as many as Creamline [fans], they really pushed us. We’re really proud. We had fun even it was difficult to coach against a strong team. It feels good to play against them,” she added.
It was F2 Logistics’ second five-set conquest this conference after they were tested by PLDT in their campaign opener. Diego understands that their team development won’t happen overnight but she lauded the maturity of her players, who have shown their ability to rise to the challenge when it matters most.
“I think of all the PVL teams, we’re the most mature. That’s why they keep on fighting in tight matches,” she said. “But [playing in five sets] will not always be our advantage. I still have to push these players to avoid being complacent and start strong and finish strong. We have to be more energetic right from the start. We can’t always wait for a fifth set to win.”
With the Cargo Movers tying the Cool Smashers at 3-1, Diego is putting a premium on her team’s continuous improvement as they take on the struggling Cignal HD Spikers (1-3) on Saturday next week at the same venue in Pasig City.
“We have to focus more on our team because sometimes, the problem is within ourselves. Before we look at what we should do against them, we have to fix our team,” she said. “So many things we have to learn and have to study for us to have a better flow this conference.”