PVL: Jolina Dela Cruz, Ivy Lacsina carry F2 Logistics past Farm Fresh
MANILA, Philippines — Jolina Dela Cruz and Ivy Lacsina formed a potent combo to help F2 Logistics overcome winless but hard-fighting Farm Fresh, 28-26, 20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-8, in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.
When Trisha Tubu carried the Foxies by scoring the last four points in the fourth set to force a decider, Dela Cruz and Lacsina came to the rescue in the fifth with the latter scoring six consecutive hits for an 8-2 start. The two each fired 27 points.
Ara Galang also joined the party as she nailed an off-the-block attack and an ace for a 12-5 lead before the young but hard-hitting pair of Dela Cruz and Lacsina ended the game in two hours and 14 minutes.
“In the first two sets, I had doubts in myself for every spike. When we played in the fifth, I thought that I have nothing to lose if I give my all,” said Lacsina in Filipino. “In the fifth set, I always make eye contact with Jolina because we need to take charge for our team.”
“I didn’t play well in the last two games. So I told myself that we can’t afford to lose this today. The team needs me and I need to return the favor to my team because they always help me,” she added.
The former National University star Lacsina finished with 21 attacks, four blocks, and two aces. Ex-La Salle stalwart Dela Cruz also protected F2 Logistics’ floor with 10 digs and 10 excellent receptions, while Galang had 13 points including a game-high three aces to go with 19 excellent receptions and 14 digs to withstand Tubu’s 30-point explosion.
Dela Cruz attributed her career-high to coach Regine Diego and her teammates.
“With the help of coach Regine (Diego) and our coaches, we regained our confidence in attacking. We also thought that we need to get back to our winning ways,” she said in Filipino.
Myla Pablo joined Kianna Dy on the reserve list, sitting out due to back spasms. Kim Fajardo was in uniform but also didn’t see action due to a minor knee injury.
Mars Alba stepped up with 17 excellent sets on top of three points as Ethan Arce and Aby Maraño contributed seven markers each, while Dawn Catindig protected the floor with 34 digs.
F2 Logistics bounced back from a tough straight-set loss to Petro Gazz last week to improve to a 3-2 card tied with Akari in seventh place as of posting time.
Cargo Movers coach Regine Diego believes their shaky performance this conference is part of the birth pains of their young players stepping up for their injury-riddled roster.
“It’s still a learning process. Maybe this is part of the birth pains of having younger players. We have to teach them how to make points, what to feel and what’s the play. They need a lot of guidance,” said Diego in Filipino. “Of course, a win is a win, but we have to learn every game because our next games will be harder. So I think it’s a good way to prepare.”
Tubu’s career-high built on 28 kills and two blocks on top of 12 digs went for naught as the Foxies absorbed their seventh loss this conference — their 12th straight defeat since joining the league last Invitationals.
Kate Santiago supported Tubu with 14 points and eight receptions for Farm Fresh. Alyssa Bertolano had 10 points, while setter Louie Romero dished out 20 excellent sets.
F2 Logistics battles another winless club, Gerflor, on Thursday at the same venue in Pasig City, while Farm Fresh will have a week to prepare for Gerflor on November 14 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.