What was expected to be an epic final battle between the two most fearsome franchises in the league fittingly comes down to a no-tomorrow match for the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino crown on Thursday.
F2 Logistics, down for the count after suffering a straight-set defeat in Game 1, got up swinging in Tuesday’s Game 2 and inflicted Petron’s first defeat in the conference en route to extending the best-of-three title series.
Serving as appetizer for the 7 p.m. match at Filoil Flying V Centre is the Collegiate Grand Slam gold medal match between University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines, where the winning team will take home the Dominic Sytin trophy.
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F2 Logistics had actually lost a fourth straight set against Petron when it tripped in Game 2’s opener, but the Cargo Movers took the next three sets in gritty fashion to deny the Blaze Spikers a repeat of its 2015 feat of sweeping its way to the title.
All of a sudden, it is Petron confronted with history, and it isn’t a good one. The Blaze Spikers are in danger of reliving the horror of 2017 when they blew 1-0 lead in the Grand Prix finals to lose to the Cargo Movers.
“We have learned our lessons; this has happened before it won’t happen again,” said Petron coach Shaq delos Santos. “We are still optimistic of our chances. We will not let this get away from us.”
Petron looked headed for the title until the second set of Game 2, when F2 Logistics finally found its form with superb blocking, a strong service game and wholesale scoring.
Healthy and in her element in the championship series, Ara Galang unloaded 20 points, while Majoy Baron and Cha Cruz-Behag added 14 and 13, respectively.
F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus, though wary of his foe, is waiting to strike at any moment in the decider.
“I don’t want to be complacent, but when opportunity presents itself, we will take it,” said De Jesus.