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MANILA, Philippines – It has been a long time coming, but the F2 Cargo Movers are finally experiencing what it’s like to have a full-strength lineup in their ongoing chase for their first-ever PVL championship.
Although they again fell short at the 2023 All-Filipino Conference, their bronze medal finish is their best effort yet since joining the league in 2021, and it’s no coincidence that they got this far just as star duo Ara Galang and Kim Fajardo got their legs under them at last after lengthy battles with major injuries.
Galang – who has been under consistent maintenance since tearing multiple ligaments in her left knee back in 2015 – is nothing but grateful for the opportunities she is still getting under the F2 banner.
“For me, I’ll just force myself to improve every day and see what else I can improve on to help the team,” she said in Filipino after the Cargo Movers’ bronze-clinching win against PLDT last Tuesday, March 28.
“That’s my main goal, to see where else I can contribute to the team, whether on offense, defense, or everything else. I need to provide in all aspects to contribute to the team,” she continued after tallying 14 points, 16 excellent digs, and 10 excellent receptions against the High Speed Hitters.
The same mindset goes for Fajardo, who has been carefully nursing multiple ailments in her right knee that have been bothering her game since 2018.
Against PLDT, the star setter erupted for a career-high 11 points on 5 attacks, 4 blocks, and 2 aces, to go with a usual helping of 24 excellent sets.
“I’m happy because I’m just starting to play full games after returning from injury. I’m just testing myself with how far I can stretch my limits after surgery, after all the injuries,” Fajardo said in Filipino. “Those 11 points are special for me as an individual because it proves my game is still here.”
Moving forward, both players vowed that while “bronze is the new gold,” as Galang put it, they won’t stop until they reach their true goal: winning it all under the PVL banner for the first time after copping five titles in the defunct Philippine Superliga (PSL).
“[The gold] is really our target. Although we didn’t get it this time, we already know our lapses. But in the next conferences, we’ll improve them. We won’t allow ourselves that we’d lose just like that, that we’re not in the Final Four, that we’re not in the the top three in the league,” Fajardo said.
“Every conference we’re rising, so we need to build on this,” Galang added. “We won’t stop with the system we’re building.
“We all have a hunger to win and we won’t stop. We need to bring one another up.” – Rappler.com