MANILA, Philippines – The F2 Cargo Movers kicked off their 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference with a cardiac affair for the ages as they survived the PLDT High Speed Hitters, 25-22, 25-21, 14-25, 20-25, 16-14, at the PhilSports Arena on Tuesday, February 7.
Top offseason recruit and two-time league MVP Myla Pablo sparked the early scoring charge and finished with a game-high 21 points off 20 attacks and 1 ace, while star libero Dawn Macandili stabilized the 2-hour, 31-minute marathon with 35 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions.
Kianna Dy came through in the clutch as always with 17 points as Cha Cruz-Behag chipped in 3 points in her first F2 game back in four years.
PLDT looked headed for a huge upset after rallying from two sets down off strong performances in the third and fourth frames thanks to the leadership of Mika Reyes and Jovy Prado.
Dead-even in the fifth and final frame, no team gained any cushion until the very end, as a pair of crucial Aby Maraño net touch errors gifted match point to PLDT, 14-13.
However, the F2 captain redeemed herself with a huge match point-seizing block on Reyes, 15-14, after Mean Mendrez tied the game 14-all off a net touch. Calm as ever, Dy then sized up from the backrow and hammered home a down-the-line hit to gift head coach Regine Diego her first win in the pro league.
“It feels like [a] championship,” a winded Diego said after the game. “But yeah, it was a good game, and this game, at least we saw what we need to train more, where we lacked, where we’re good, so next game we can adjust.”
“It’s really a good way for us to know what other challenges we can meet in the future and a good way to adjust to what we still need to do.”
Prado and Dell Palomata paced the sorry loss with 17 and 16 points, respectively, with the latter supplying 3 blocks, while Reyes added 15 points with a game-high 4 rejections. Kath Arado also tried her best on defense with 31 excellent digs before the razor-thin defeat.
Meanwhile, the Chery Tiggo Crossovers had a comparably easier time in dispatching the Cignal HD Spikers off a clean sweep, 27-25, 25-19, 25-22.
Stepping up after the offseason departure to Akari of Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Shaya Adorador led the way with 16 points off 15 attacks, while Reinforced Conference MVP Mylene Paat added 15 points.
Alina Bicar set up the offense with 14 excellent sets as EJ Laure rounded out the double-digit scorers with 13 points.
Ces Molina also topscored with 16 points in the loss, while Ria Meneses scattered 6 attacks, 3 blocks, and 2 aces for an 11-point total.
Chery Tiggo and F2 both shoot for their second win on Saturday, February 11, against the Army Black Mamba Lady Troopers and the Akari Chargers, respectively.
Cignal only gets a day’s rest before gunning for a bounce-back against the Creamline Cool Smashers on Thursday, February 9, 4 pm, while PLDT will have to wait until Thursday, February 16, 6:30 pm before it can vent its ire on Army Black Mamba. – Rappler.com
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