Cha Cruz delivers F2 Logistics closer to final round berth

BATANGAS CITY — F2 Logistics held off hard-fighting Cignal on Saturday, hacking out a 25-18, 25-17, 21-25, 25-22 victory to bolster its hopes of clinching a final round berth in the 2016 PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference women’s volleyball tournament at the Batangas City Sports Center here.

Former UAAP league MVP Cha Cruz sizzled with 20 points, spiked by 15 kills and three service aces, while fellow La Salle standouts Stephanie Mercado and Aby Maraño, along with Danika Gendrauli, scattered at least 11 markers each as the Cargo Movers bounced back from a straight-sets loss inflicted by unbeaten Petron last Thursday.

Read: Error-prone Cignal HD Spikers still manage to score a win

More importantly, the Cargo Movers improved their record to 4-2 after two rounds, putting itself in a strategic position while dealing the HD Spikers their second loss after three starts in the inter-club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Mueller and Grand Sport with TV5 as official broadcast partner.

“Very, very crucial kasi dahil malaki na ang tsansa namin makapasok sa Top 4,” said Cruz on behalf of F2 Logistics coach Rose Prochina who failed to call the shots as she was attending a personal reason. “We will have the chance top play against the international team. And that’s really our goal: To play in the final round.”

Former St. Benilde star Jeanette Panaga banged in 16 points, built around 10 kills, three blocks and as many service aces, while teaming up with fellow veterans Jannine Navarro and Mic Laborte in their strong fightback that turned what started a humdinger into a tight contest in the stretch.

“They (HD Spikers) are really a good team. Matagal na nilang kakilala ‘yung coach nila at matagal na rin silang magkakasama,” said Cruz, adding they refused to press the panic button despite cooling off in the third set and nearly blowing a 21-12 lead in the fourth.

Read: Petron turns back New San Jose, completes 2nd round sweep

“Hindi kami papatalo. Alam namin na super pangit ang game namin last time,” noted Cruz.

“Alam namin we need to contribute at i-fill-up ang weakness ng bawat isa. Siyempre dapat may teamwork which is (something) na pinakita namin.”

After the HD Spikers threatened in the decisive set at 22-24, the Cargo Movers kept their composer and executed what turned out to be the killer blow, with Maraño going for her typical running spike that went down the line to the delight of the pre-dominantly F2 Logistics crowd. – By Jerome Lagunzad

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