MANILA, Philippines – F2 Logistics unleashed another superb performance to crush Foton, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21, and book a return trip to the finals of the Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Thursday evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez was at her best, delivering the crucial hits for the Cargo Movers as they wrapped up their best-of-3 series in just two games.
F2 Logistics is now waiting for the winner of the other semifinal pairing between Petron and Cocolife.
Game 1 of the best-of-3 ginals series is on May 1 at the same San Juan venue.
"The mindset of the players is to defend the title," said F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, adding that their players are slowly gaining the same chemistry and confidence that gave them their first Grand Prix crown last year.
"Our chemistry is improving and our connection is getting better. We know that we have a shallow bench. So this kind of improvement can definitely help us where we want to be," he added.
Perez, the reigning Most Valuable Player, tallied 19 kills for a game-high 21 points, while American Kennedy Bryan chipped in 10 markers for F2 Logistics, which drew impressive performance from local stars Aby Maraño, Cha Cruz and Kim Fajardo.
Maraño and Cruz delivered eight markers apiece, while Fajardo was superb as usual with 28 excellent sets.
"Kim had a great game tonight," said Laniog, whose wards committed only 11 errors while torching Foton with 43 attacks.
"We know that Foton is a taller team and more aggressive at the net. But Kim did a good job calling the plays to keep the defense guessing," he added. "Her good playmaking opened things up for MJ (Perez), Cha and Aby."
With Fajardo setting the table, the Cargo Movers coasted in the third set with a 15-10 advantage.
Import Channon Thompson and Jaja Santiago tried to restore order and pulled the Tornadoes closer, 20-22, but Perez delivered a pair of booming attacks from the open position to capture the match point, 24-20.
"We tried to push Thompson and their outside hitters to commit misreceptions," Laniog said. "When they started to lose their passing and commit reception errors, we knew that we have a chance to win the game."
Elizabeth Wendel and Thompson finished with 11 and 10 markers while Santiago and Maika Ortiz chipped in nine markers apiece for the Tornadoes, who were relegated to the battle for bronze medal.
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