PVL: Cargo Movers on brink of bronze after 4-set win over PLDT


Posted at Mar 26 2023 06:40 PM | Updated as of Mar 26 2023 07:03 PM

The F2 Logistics Cargo Movers celebrate a point against PLDT. PVL Media.
The F2 Logistics Cargo Movers celebrate a point against PLDT. PVL Media.

MANILA (UPDATED) -- F2 Logistics is on the brink of securing a third place finish in the PVL All-Filipino Conference after taking a four-set victory over PLDT on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Cargo Movers bucked a slow start and leaned on a superb performance from skipper Aby Maraño to take a 20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 win over the High Speed Hitters. 

After splitting the first two sets, the Cargo Movers took control of the match in Set 3 thanks to their net defense. With Maraño setting the tone, F2 Logistics scored six points off their blocks in the frame and limited the High Speed Hitters to just nine kills.

They went on to pull away in Set 4 thanks to PLDT's errors, with an attack fault by Jules Samonte giving the Cargo Movers a five-point spread, 20-15. Hits by Maraño and Majoy Baron put F2 Logistics on the hill, 24-17, before another unforced error by PLDT -- a foot fault by Mean Mendrez -- sealed the deal.

Maraño finished with 19 points on 14 kills and five blocks. Kim Kianna Dy contributed 20 points on 15 hits, three blocks, and two aces, and Ara Galang scored six of her 13 points on blocks while adding 18 digs and 18 receptions. 

As a team, the Cargo Movers had 18 blocks to six for PLDT, offsetting their 26 unforced errors. They also drew inspiration from the presence of Coach Ramil de Jesus, who attended a game for the first time in the conference.

"Siguro, noong first part ng game, naga-adjust pa kami," said Maraño of their slow start, which saw them give up clutch hits to PLDT's Jules Samonte. "Tapos, nakapag-warm up na kami ng maayos. Come second set, na-feel ko na 'yung fire inside."

Samonte scored PLDT's last three points in Set 1, including the crosscourt hit that put them ahead, 1-0. But the Cargo Movers roared back in the second frame behind Dy and Maraño, while also getting free points off the High Speed Hitters' errors.

Maraño continued to impose her will in Set 3, scoring off a running hit for an 18-10 lead. PLDT came to within four points, 21-17, off back-to-back hits by Dell Palomata but Dy conspired with Baron to push the Cargo Movers back to a more comfortable advantage, 24-18. A rejection by Maraño on a Mich Morente attack gave F2 Logistics a 2-1 lead. 

The High Speed Hitters went on to shoot themselves in the foot in the fourth period, with errors by Samonte and veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan allowing the Cargo Movers to pull away, 20-15. 

Palomata had 14 points and Samonte also scored 14 for PLDT while stepping up for the injured Mendrez. Jovelyn Prado had 13 points and 12 receptions for the High Speed Hitters.