Regine Diego credits F2’s tough win over Choco Mucho to eagle-eyed coaching staff
MANILA, Philippines — F2 Logistics coach Regine Diego attributed the Cargo Movers’ epic come-from-behind, five-set win over Choco Mucho on Tuesday to her eagle-eyed staff.
The Cargo Movers remained unbeaten after their 21-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-21, 18-16 win and inched closer to booking a semifinal berth in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the jam-packed Philsports Arena.
They were a point away from absorbing their first loss in Pool B after Kianna Dy’s attack went out, which was initially called the game-winning point for the Flying Titans.
But Diego’s coaching staff called for a video challenge, asking for a net touch. The review showed that the blockers of Dy touched the net, leading to an extended fifth set.
Then the F2 Logistics coaches pulled off another crucial challenge when Choco Mucho held the match-point anew, 15-14, after Jolina Dela Cruz’s spike went long but the video challenge was deemed successful as the blockers touched the ball.
Mars Alba, Dela Cruz, and Ivy Lacsina drilled the finishing touches to complete their comeback and keep the lead in Pool B with a 3-0 record.
“Our coaching staff actually has responsibilities. They have their own job inside the court while I’m coaching. I’m just that person standing up but we are working on it together,” said Diego, the first female coach in the country’s pro volleyball league. “We talk about almost every rotation. It’s really a teamwork thing. So, kudos to my coaching staff, you guys are the best.”
Diego was also grateful to her mentor and former F2 head coach Ramil De Jesus, who watched the game and helped her players to display a tremendous reception as Choco Mucho failed to score a single ace in their thrilling five-set game.
“Kudos to Coach Ramil, these players are used to passing. They sharpened their first ball. All of them are hardworking and won’t stop getting that first ball,” she said.
The air-conditioning system at Philsports Arena bogged down with 7,067 spectators watching the game but the Cargo Movers were able to stay in the game for two hours and 37 minutes.
“That fifth set, kudos to Coach Carlo (Buzzichelli), our conditioning coach and coach Sonny (Montalvo). Coz if they (players) are not well-conditioned enough we’re not gonna survive that set,” Diego said.
Despite the thrilling win, Diego reminds her team that the job isn’t finished as they battle the Petro Gazz Angels (2-1) on Thursday, eyeing to book the first semifinal berth in their group.
“It’s good to celebrate because a win is a win and that win was amazing. But it’s not the end yet. All we have to do is to remind these girls that we have to recover more. Our next game is on Thursday so, recovery is everything – sleep, nutrition, and supplementation. We got coaches for that and they are doing well,” she said. “I know these girls are not going to be overconfident, hopefully, for the next game. We’re just going to celebrate for a second here and then move on and continue to work.”
If F2 Logistics books a semis ticket, it’s still a long way to go as it will play another round-robin against the top two of Pool A and Japanese squad Kurashiki Ablaze and Vietnam’s Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh.
F2 Logistics coach Regine Diego, Kianna Dy, and Jolina Dela Cruz after their come-from-behind win over Choco Mucho. #PVL2023
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, July 11, 2023