F2 Logistics hopes to neutralize Niemer, end dry spell against Petron in Legazpi semis clash
Ramil de Jesus hopes his wards can neutralize Petron's top hitter and service specialist Stephanie Niemer. Dante Peralta

F2 Logistics hopes to overcome the biggest threat to a return trip to the finals in Petron’s top hitter and service specialist Stephanie Niemer when the powerhouse teams clash in the knockout semifinals of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix on Saturday in Legazpi City.

The Cargo Movers, who ruled the All-Filipino conference in August, has not yet won against the former two-time champion and head coach Ramil de Jesus is hoping that traveling all the way to the province of Albay could end their bad luck.

“Actually hindi pa kami nananalo sa Petron, baka sa Albay na kami manalo kung saka sakali kasi ‘yun talaga ng target namin and hopefully maganda ang laruin ng mga bata,” he said.

One big concern for the nine-time UAAP champion coach, though, is the Petron’s import’s impressive service, as Niemer scored nine service aces in a single game against F2 Logsitics in their second elimination round match.

De Jesus and his team is doing extra work to neutralize, if not stop, Niemer’s ’85 kilometer per hour’ serve.

“Ayun wino-work out namin ‘yun, paghahandaan namin (si Niemer). ‘Yun naman ganoong klase ng serve kapag hindi ka naka-pwesto talagang mawawala (sayo ang puntos). Sabi nga nila, 85 kilometer per hour ‘yung bilis ng bola so ganon kabilis talaga,” he said.

Neutralizing Niemer’s serve requires team effort, but the pressure is on F2 Logistics libero Dawn Macandili to get the first ball.

The All-Filipino MVP, though, is unfazed, saying preparation is key and having a week rest is enough for her to counter the strong serves of Niemer.

“I think that’s enough para ma-adjust ang mga pagkukulang namin and ‘yung mga mali namin from last game sa Petron. Kailangang maghanda lang,” she said. 

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