F2 Logistics remained unscathed after it turned back erstwhile undefeated RC Cola Army, 25-22, 25-14, 22-25, 26-28, 15-10 in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Saturday.
Top rookie pick Ara Galang, who had 18 points, led three other players in double digits for F2 Logistics, while Aby Marano had 13, Kim Dy added 11 and Kim Fajardo made 10.
The Cargo Movers improved to 7-0, while the veteran-laden Lady Troopers dropped to 6-1 at the end of the preliminary round.
“Ang habol namin pumasok sa top four, so hindi namin in-expect na makakaabot kami ng ganito na 7-0 so siguro reward lang sa mga ginagawa ng mga bata,” said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus.
F2 Logistics put up a slim 7-5 lead in the fifth set before Nene Bautista scored and Rachel Anne Daquis tied the contest after a long rally, 7-7.
The La Salle-powered Cargo Movers broke loose from the close game and widened the gap, 12-8, en route to take the match thanks to a service error by the Lady Troopers.
“Isa din sigurong factor ‘yun medyo napagod ang kabila then mas aggressive kasi mas bata,” said de Jesus.
The veteran mentor was glad his wards were able to bounce back after losing their confidence during the third and fourth sets.
“(Sabi ko sa kanila) kailangan lang natin dumepensa, kailangan lang natin makapag-adjust kasi [kung] parehas lang ang gagawin natin noong third and fourth, ganoon lang din ang magiging result,” he said.
“So kailangan rumeceive kasi ‘yung kumpyansa eh dapat hindi nawawala sa sarili. Sabi ko sa mga bata, walang magbibigay noon kundi sila lang,” he added.
F2 Logistics raced to a 19-11 start in the first set before Army threatened, 20-23, after veterans Tina Salak and Michele Carolino were fielded in for RC Cola Army.
But the Cargo Movers sustained the momentum in the second set to put up a wide lead, 15-6, that ballooned to 20-10, en route to a 2-0 set lead.
RC Cola Army coach Kungfu Reyes pressed the panic button and put Salak back in the game after being sparingly used in the first set and benched in the second set.
FIVB World Club Women's Championship-bound Jovelyn Gonzaga wrecked havoc on F2 Logistics to give the Lady Troopers the lead, 14-12, before RC Cola Army took a 20-15 lead en route to forcing a decider.
Gonzaga sparked the Lady Troopers on both ends of the floor with 19 points, 21 digs and six excellent receptions, while Daquis added 14.
Genie Sabas and Jessey de Leon also contributed nine markers apiece for the Lady Troopers.