F2 Logistics made its much-awaited debut in the professional Premier Volleyball League (PVL) and carved out a smashing win over Black Mamba Army on Wednesday, but it wasn’t as smooth as everyone expected from the powerhouse Cargo Movers.
A 25-15, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22 Open Conference win without main scoring threat Kalei Mau and head coach Ramil de Jesus at Paco Arena Events and Sports Center in Manila was a total grind after the Lady Troopers played the Cargo Movers as smart as they could defensively.
“They (Lady Troopers) are a strong team. They are an experienced team,” said Bocboc Benson, who called the shots in place of De Jesus. “Whatever battle you bring them, they will seize the opportunity to fight back, and we saw that today.”
Mau, F2’s scoring machine, is playing in a pro league in the United States, while De Jesus has reportedly shifted to team consultant to prepare for the UAAP as La Salle coach.
That’s something Black Mamba took advantage of, especially after dropping the first two sets and getting F2 lulled into complacency.
Kim Kianna Dy scored 20 points to pace the Cargo Movers, the reigning Champions League titlists.
“It’s the first time playing in the PVL, we don’t know what our opponents would bring into the game,” said Dy. “And as you can see, we had a slow start. We just have to prepare more in the next matches.”
“We’re very excited to be part of the PVL finally and we’ll just keep on preparing and studying the other teams as we continue this tournament,” she added.
Benson revealed that Dy was still recovering from back pains and that has kept the team from fully getting their game together.
“We’re still feeling each other out and everyone is building that connection for the team,” he said. “[Dy is] still recovering, coming from back pains and we’ve only seen her playing like this now. So it’s going to take some time for everyone.”
But Dy added that the worst was over for her injury.
“[The back pain] is already gone,” she said. “I’m just continuing therapy so that it won’t come back. And then we’ll just keep on practicing.”
The Lady Troopers, made up of players either in the beginning of their careers or extending a legendary resume, out-attacked F2, 48-41, using an offense built around Honey Royse Tubino and former Cargo Mover Michelle Morente, who scored 18 and nine, respectively.
And Black Mamba Army was able to jolt the Cargo Movers despite the fact that Jovelyn Gonzaga, their top gun, wasn’t around because she is training with the national team.
“We really had to push ourselves to nail the win,” said Benson, who also got 11 points from Ara Galang and 10 and nine, respectively, from Majoy Baron and Aby Maraño.
The Cargo Movers, however, scraped around in other departments like blocking (10-1) and service aces (6-0).
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