12:30 pm – Generika vs Cignal
3 pm – RC Cola-Army vs Foton
F2 Logistics showed up tired and weary, but still managed to deliver a strong finishing kick to smother Generika, 25-17, 25-27, 25-19, 25-14, in the Asics Philippine Superliga Grand Prix presented by PLDT Home Ultera last night at the FilOil Flying V Center.
Save for a turbulent second set, the Cargo Movers were impressive, especially in the fourth set where they went full blast on both ends to capture the victory in this prestigious inter-club tourney bankrolled by Mikasa, Mueller, Grand Sport and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
It was the Cargo Movers’ sixth win in nine games, putting them in solo third place entering the last three playing days of the preliminaries of this battle that also has Focus Athletics, KLab Cyscorpions, Foton, Petron and F2 Logistics as sponsors.
Generika, for its part, remains winless nine matches.
With the third spot almost in the bag, the Cargo Movers would battle the sixth seed in the do-or-die playoffs with the winner marching to the semifinals against early qualifiers Petron and F2 Logistics. On the other hand, the fourth seed and the fifth seed will figure in another sudden-death playoffs with the winner advancing to the semifinals.
F2 Logistics head coach Ramil de Jesus said he couldn’t gauge the strength of his wards as fatigue played a major role in this match due to the league’s grueling schedule.
“We’re tired,” said de Jesus, whose wards pulled off a shocker when they overcame erstwhile-unbeaten Foton in four sets last Tuesday at the Imus Sports Complex in Imus City.
“Halos hindi na kami nakakapahinga. Kaya kahit anong rotation gawin ko, makikita mo na talagang pagod ang dalawang imports (Sydney Kemper and Hayley Spelman).”
He said they would use their five-day break to fuel up and brace for a tough match against the Lady Troopers on Tuesday at the General Trias Sports Center in General Trias, Cavite.
“We will take advantage of the break to rest and get ready for Tuesday. The game would be crucial as RC Cola-Army also wants that third spot.”
Spelman and Ara Galang delivered 15 points apiece while Kemper chipped in 12 markers for the Cargo Movers, who displayed its balanced scoring all throughout the match that lasted for an hour and 45 minutes.
Kim Fajardo was also impressive, finishing with 27 excellent sets to dominate veteran Rubie de Leon with only 11 assists.
True enough, the legs of the Cargo Movers looked wobbly, especially in the second set.
Although the Cargo Movers were nursing a razor-thin lead, 25-24, the Lifesavers managed to claw back and steal the set after import Darlene Ramdin unleashed a booming kill from the middle before punctuating the set with a big block for the final count, 27-25.
But it was all F2 Logistics from there as Ara Galang, Aby Marano and Spelman got their acts together to turn 10-all into 20-15 before completely wrapping up the third set at 25-19.
Polina Liutikova registered 15 hits while Darlene Ramdin had 11 markers for Generika, which is pressured to win its final game against Cignal to somehow improve its standing entering the playoffs.