MANILA, Philippines--Long-time rivals Petron and F2 Logistics will dispute the championship again after they dismantled their respective foes to reach the title series of the 2018 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference at Muntinlupa Sports Center late Tuesday.
The Blaze Spikers cut the connection on Cignal 25-21, 25-20, 25-16 while the Cargo Movers put Generika-Ayala to bed 21-25, 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 15-5 to set up yet another best-of-3 finals.
Game 1 of the finals is set for Saturday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center. Opening serve is at 7 p.m.
Petron and F2 Logistics first met in the All-Filipino finals in 2016, with the Cargo Movers dethroning the Blaze Spikers.
But Petron rebounded the next year, after putting together a formidable roster anchored on Mika Reyes, Bernadeth Pons, Sisi Rondina, and Remy Palma.
They faced off once more in the next conference, the Grand Prix, in 2017, in which the Cargo Movers emerged triumphant, thanks in part to the tandem of Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan.
The Blaze Spikers quickly struck back in the 2018 Grand Prix. The arrival of Katherine Bell -- a replacement for the injured Hillary Hurley -- helped them knock off F2 Logistics in the finals.
F2 Logistics denied Petron a sweep of the season by ruling the Invitational Conference, but the Blaze Spikers are determined to end their season on a high note. They won all 10 of their matches in the preliminary rounds, then dismissed Sta. Lucia in the quarterfinals and Cignal in the semis.
Now, just two wins away from another championship -- and a sweep -- only the Cargo Movers stand in their path.
"Our win over Petron depends on the hunger and willingness of my players," said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus. "Our battle against them always goes down the wire. It won’t be easy. That’s why we will use the next few days to polish our game and prepare against them."
For Petron coach Shaq delos Santos, his club's triumph over F2 Logistics in the preliminaries no longer matters. The Cargo Movers have not lost since then.
"They're on a roll," delos Santos said of F2 Logistics. "We have to do our homework and prepare for them because it’s really hard to stop a squad that is reaching its peak. The finals will be anybody’s ballgame."