F2 Logistics banked on long-held chemistry—and a lot of firepower from the unstoppable spiker Kalei Mau—to sweep its way to becoming the first ever Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League women’s champion Thursday night.
Showing unmatched scoring might, F2 Logistics overcome Chery Tiggo, 25-20, 25-20, 25-22, for its fifth straight win in the short tournament held under bio-contained environment.
“We didn’t expect this because of the short preparation and Kalei hurting her achilles heel, that’s why I didn’t use her during our game with Perlas,” said Ramil de Jesus, coach of the Cargo Movers. “Maybe our advantage is that we have played with each other for so long.”
F2 Logistics has had a stellar career in the in-hiatus Philippine SuperLiga, but skipped the inaugural professional volleyball tournament in the country organized by the Premier Volleyball League. The Champions League was the team’s first tournament in about two years.
Mau, the 6-foot-3 Fil-Am hitter, was nursing a swollen achilles heel and was only able to practice early on the day the Cargo Movers went for the title at Aquamarine Recreation Center in Lipa City, Batangas.
The F2 Logistics’s core was culled from De Jesus’ formidable University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion team La Salle. Mau joined them for two conferences before the pandemic struck, pushing the team into inactivity.
“The players really wanted to come back, that’s why some of them are crying because it has been a long time [since they last played],” he said.
Mau finished with 16 points, while Majoy Baron added nine for the Cargo Movers. Team captain Aby Maraño, who shared the Best Middle Blocker award with Chery Tiggo’s Maika Ortiz, had eight markers.
National team mainstay and F2 starter Kim Kiana Dy ran away with the Most Valuable Player and Best Opposite Spiker awards while teammates Dawn Macandili (Best Libero) and Iris Tolenada (Best Setter) also received individual awards.
Dindin Manabat scored 17 points for Chery Tiggo. Manabat, who scored 37 points against PetroGazz, was awarded Best Outside Spiker along with Angel star Ces Molina.
Under the event’s format, Chery Tiggo finished second. PetroGazz finished third in the tournament sponsored by, among others, Rebisco, Pitmaster Foundation Inc., Top Speed, 1Pacman Partylist, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.