MANILA, Philippines – The F2 Cargo Movers, longtime queens of the inactive Philippine Superliga (PSL), finally broke through in the PVL with their first-ever semifinals berth at the 2023 All-Filipino Conference after a four-set win over winless Army-Black Mamba, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 25-13, on Saturday, March 11.
Kianna Dy’s surging case for conference MVP once again gained a big boost after a 22-point performance off 18 attacks, 3 aces, and 1 block as F2 celebrated the second anniversary of its move to the PVL by rising to a 6-2 record in second place.
Best Libero candidate Dawn Macandili also had another huge defensive outing with 32 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions. Kim Fajardo steered the offense with 23 excellent sets, while captain Aby Marano added 13 points in the semis-clinching win.
Coming off a stunning second-set loss, the Cargo Movers regrouped late in the third from an 18-all tie with a 7-2 finishing kick, ending with an emphatic block from Elaine Kasilag, who scored 7 of her 10 points in that frame alone.
F2 then pulled away and never looked back with an 8-1 start in the fourth set, peaking with a 13-point separation, 22-9, on its cruise to the finish line.
“We’re all happy. I’m happy because I’m a part of this. It’s now listed in F2 history and PVL history, and I’m happy I’m with all of these girls. They’ve been working hard. All of us have been working hard for this. We’ve gotten one of our goals. Hopefully, we can achieve more,” said F2 head coach Regine Diego.
Royse Tubino topscored in another Army loss with 19 points, while Gelai Nunag added 14 excellent digs and 14 excellent receptions.
PLDT nears semis off third-set mauling of Cignal sister team
Meanwhile, in the second game of the double-header, the PLDT High Speed Hitters neared their own semis berth by pulling away late against also-ran sister team Cignal HD Spikers, 25-23, 25-23, 25-14, for a 5-2 record.
Jovy Prado and Mean Mendrez led the way with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Best Libero candidate Kath Arado anchored the defense with 25 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions.
Roselyn Doria paced the loss as the only Cignal double-digit scorer with 11 points as her team fell to a 2-5 slate.
PLDT aims for an outright semis clincher on Thursday, March 16, 4 pm, against the eliminated Choco Mucho Flying Titans at the PhilSports Arena, while Army-Black Mamba hopes to end a long run of futility with one last game against Cignal at 6:30 pm.
F2, on the other hand, now awaits its final seeding in the 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3 playoffs. – Rappler.com
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