MANILA, Philippines – The F2 Logistics Cargo Movers were emotional, but not shaken following a disappointing three-set loss to the Petron Blaze Spikers in Game 1 of the 2018 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference last weekend.
The Blaze Spikers took another step towards a sweep of the tournament by dismissing F2 Logistics in Game 1, 25-23, 25-11, 25-17. That gave them a 13-game winning streak heading into Tuesday's Game 2.
They were two sets away from winning the title – and completing a 14-game sweep – but the Cargo Movers derailed their plans by hacking out an impressive 21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-17 triumph in Game 2 of the best-of-3 series.
For the Cargo Movers, being down 0-1 to Petron was not an unfamiliar situation.
In the 2017 PSL Grand Prix, the Cargo Movers also fell behind, 0-1, to Petron then trailed by two sets in Game 2. But they rallied to win in five sets, then downed the shell-shocked Blaze Spikers in four sets in Game 3 to complete a thrilling comeback.
"We've been in this situation before, and nothing is impossible with the Lord, so talagang panghahawakan namin kung ano yung kaya namin," said Cha Cruz-Behag, who had 14 points, 15 receptions, and 25 digs in their four-set win.
"Sabi nga ni coach, lahat kami, hindi bago sa amin itong ganitong experience. Lahat kami nagkaroon ng championship experience, so bukod sa lakas na meron kami, puso ang papaaralin namin," she added.
F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus said he simply reminded his players of what they were truly capable of after their Game 1 defeat.
"Very emotional ang mga bata (after Game 1)," he revealed.
"After ng Game 1, sabi ko sa kanila noong training, tapos na, so kung gusto nating bumawi, bawi na lang tayo," he added. "Sabi ko kilala ko kayo eh. Kung hindi ko kayo kilala, maaring maniwala ako na ganoon lang ang laro niyo."
De Jesus' motivational tactics clearly worked as the Cargo Movers dominated the match after a slow start. And now, they have the momentum heading into Thursday's do-or-die Game 3, though Cruz-Behag said they cannot feel too confident.
"Bilog bola," she said. "Siyempre, we'll take advantage of the momentum that we have, pero siyempre alam namin na Petron, babawi din sila."
"We'll also do double effort, kung hanggang kailan man, ubusan talaga kung ubusan. Kung anong kaya nila, kaya din namin and makikipag-sabayan kami sa kanila," she guaranteed.
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