IT HAS BEEN a long journey for the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers before hoisting another Philippine Superliga All-Filipino championship, which they did with a two-game sweep of Cignal HD Spikers in the finals.
After ruling the All-Filipino crown in 2016, the Cargo Movers bowed to Petron Blaze Spikers twice in 2017 and 2018, prompting them to plot a surefire way to regain their lost glory by tapping Filipina-Hawaiian Kalei Mau.
With the prolific Filipino-American spiker at the attack zone, the Cargo Movers raced to an 11-game winning streak before a very familiar foe in the Blaze Spikers denied them of a chance to sweep the conference.
Their sorry setback was followed with another loss to PLDT Home Fibr to shut down the preliminaries with a 12-2 win-loss card. But it did not stop the Cargo Movers from completing its rise.
The Cargo Movers creamed Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors in the quarterfinals before dominating Foton Tornadoes in the semifinals, setting the stage to a finals showdown with Cignal which stunned the Blaze Spikers in the Final Four.
In Game 1, the HD Spikers played with fire on its eyes, towing the game to a deciding fifth set before succumbing to a 22-25, 24-26, 25-18, 25-17, 8-15 loss that gave them the confidence to compete against the former champion in Game 2.
The Cargo Movers, however, refused to get intimidated. Mau unleashed her fighting form while Aby Marano, Majoy Baron and Ara Galang were at their best. F2 Logistics crushed Cignal, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, to clinch the title in Game 2.
“I always tell my players that we’ve always been in the finals, but we fell short each time,” said Cargo Movers head coach Ramil de Jesus. “Now, we can call ourselves winners and it feels really good to finally reach our goal.”
De Jesus, who is also the mentor of De La Salle University Lady Spikers in the UAAP, gave credit to Mau who emerged as Most Valuable Player.
“She was the missing link for us to be able to get back to this situation again,” said de Jesus. “I’m thankful that she chose us despite offers from other teams.”
“But don’t get me wrong; even before Kalei’s arrival, F2 Logistics had always been a solid team. We are ready to play anytime and we have been in the finals in the past three years,” he added.
De Jesus will aim to keep this squad intact as they embark on the season-ending Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference this October./PN