Mars Alba, brimming with confidence, shines in PVL debut for F2 Logistics | Inquirer Sports

Mars Alba, brimming with confidence, shines in PVL debut for F2 Logistics

/ 12:10 PM June 28, 2023

Mars Alba F2 Logistics PVL

Mars Alba makes her PVL debut with F2 Logistics. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Months after helping La Salle end a five-year title drought in the UAAP, Mars Alba delivered for F2 Logistics in her professional debut in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.

The Cargo Movers coach Regine Diego trusted the rookie setter to start in her first foray in the professional ranks and Alba didn’t disappoint in their 25-22, 25-20, 25-23 win over the Farm Fresh on Tuesday at FilOIl EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

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Alba provided the brilliant plays for Ivy Lacsina, Kianna Dy, Jolina Dela Cruz, and middle blockers Aby Marano and Majoy Baron, finishing with 14 excellent sets and scoring five points including two aces.

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“I’m happy and it boosts my confidence playing [here in the pros] given that I’m with my veteran teammates. They are guiding us, [newcomers],” said the young playmaker in Filipino after her impressive debut.

Diego trusts the PVL rookie will thrive as a starter and veteran setter Kim Fajardo, who only played as a substitute in the first and third sets, supports her decision and keeps on guiding Alba.

“I know her for the longest time and I fully trust her. But also I know that Kim is going to be the supporter. Even in training, Kim has been supporting her the whole time since she is younger. So it’s good that Kim can do the same and I know they can learn from each other,” the F2 Logistics coach said in Filipino.

Regine Diego PVL

F2 Logistics coach Regine Diego. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Aside from Alba, Diego also lauded their other recruits Jolina Dela Cruz, who had seven points including the game-winning ace to go with nine receptions, and Jov Fernandez nailed all of her three points in the third set. 

“We are very grateful they chose us to be their first professional team, I’m very grateful for that. I’m not surprised that’s what’s going to happen today because I know these girls led their teams in the UAAP. They lived up to my expectations and I know they can still learn more and they will be helping the team so much for the next few games,” she said.

Diego, the lone female coach in the pro league, stressed the importance of every match in the Pool Phase as only the top two teams from their group will advance to the semifinal round.

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“It’s a short tournament so I have to make my players feel that we cannot be relaxed in any game and any opponent. We cannot take them lightly because one loss can affect the whole conference and can end up getting eliminated. Every game is important and we have to bring out our best because it’s hard to play in this short conference,” she said.

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F2 Logistics battles fellow opening day winner Cignal on Saturday as both teams shoot for an early 2-0 lead in Pool B.

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TAGS: F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, PVL, Regine Diego

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