F2 Logistics bags inaugural Champions League crown

F2 Logistics emerged as the inaugural winner of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League following a 25-20, 25-20, 25-22 victory over Chery Tiggo on Thursday, November 25 at the Aquamarine Recreational Center.

And the Cargo Movers did it in style – they won without dropping a set for a perfect 5-0 win-loss card.

Chery Tiggo, which missed Jaja Santiago who is currently playing in the Japan V.League, failed to follow up its Premiere Volleyball League Open Conference championship run and settled for the silver medal. 

Kalei Mau came through with 16 kills, 19 receptions, and 9 digs, while Iris Tolenada, who was acquired by F2 Logistics only last month as first-choice setter Kim Fajardo is recovering from injury, tossed 17 excellent sets to go with 4 service aces and a block.

Earlier, Petro Gazz rebounded from its stunning loss to a team of high schoolers by beating Tuguegarao-Perlas Spikers, 25-11, 26-24, 19-25, 25-20, to secure the bronze medal.

The Cargo Movers' net defense was rock-solid in the one-hour and 29-minute match with their 9 blocks – 3 each from Majoy Baron and Kim Kianna Dy.

The most consistent player of the tournament, Dy was named the Most Valuable Player and Best Opposite Hitter to lead F2 Logistics' "Dream Team" awardees in the week-long tournament.

Aby Maraño, who contributed 8 points, bagged the First Best Middle Blocker honors, Tolenada took the Best Setter plum, and Dawn Macandili, who collected 13 digs in the finale, was the competition's Best Libero.

The Cargo Movers already clinched the gold medal after claiming the second set but still pressed on with their usual game to shut out the Crossovers to complete the perfect championship run.

F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus was delighted of the victory despite their short preparation.

"I am very happy because it's a first ever national volleyball tournament title,” De Jesus said. “It feels so good." 

Playing for the first time since March 2020, the Cargo Movers hardly missed a beat, displaying the form that made them one of the most successful clubs in the country.

"The players are crying because this is the first time they played as a team after two years due to the pandemic," De Jesus said. "The advantage is that they have been together for a long time. Some of them also played in Thailand as part of the Philippine team.”

Dindin Santiago-Manabat had 17 points for the Crossovers while Mylene Paat added 14 points and 8 digs.

Manabat and Maika Ortiz were named the Second Best Outside Hitter and Second Best Middle Blocker, respectively. PetroGazz's Ces Molina completed the "Dream Team" by capturing the First Best Outside Hitter award. – Rappler.com