Getting the inspiration from someone who took the team to great heights in the past, and a chunk of the crucial points from someone regarded as the team’s face, F2 Logistics on Sunday moved within a win of clinching the bronze medal in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference after a 20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 win over PLDT at Mall of Asia Arena.
With Ramil de Jesus watching from the sidelines and Aby Maraño flashing vintage form—and doing her trademark colorful antics on the floor after points—the Cargo Movers bucked a lethargic first set to pull out the win and set themselves toward clinching this series on Tuesday.
“He’s a huge inspiration to our team,” Maraño, who finished with 19 points, said in Filipino, referring to De Jesus, the architect of a 2021 Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League title who recently returned from sick bay to the La Salle bench in the UAAP.
Kim Kianna Dy led F2 with 20 points, but it was Maraño who had an imprint in the end game. Five of her total came off blocks, with F2 finishing with 18 for the night which spelled the difference.
“We still cannot afford to relax,” Maraño said. “I don’t care how big my contribution to the team would be, what’s important is we win games.”
“We will need to finish the series as soon as we can,” coach Regine Diego said. “We have to play with more fire and be able to check our errors. I think we’re on the right track.”
The Cargo Movers were swept by defending champion Creamline in the semifinals, while the High Speed Hitters, who got 14 points each from Jules Samonte and Dell Palomata, were bundled out by Petro Gazz.
Incidentally, Game 1 of the title series was being played at press time.
“I have to do those (celebration antics) to boost the confidence of my teammates,” Maraño explained with a smile. “It’s important to me, because it also boosts my morale. My mindset is to have no doubt every time I get the ball. Zero doubt.”
The Cargo Movers, as a whole, left no doubt of winning the series opener once they got their bearings in the second set even as Ara Galang played well on both ends to finish with 13 points.
PLDT actually kept the score close in the kills department, 48-47, but what did the Cargo Movers in was faulty receptions that allowed F2 to score eight aces, two of them coming from Dy in the fourth set. INQ