AS F2 Logistics faces an unbeaten defending champion in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals, Cargo Movers head coach Ramil De Jesus remains defiant, believing his wards won’t let him down in their best-of-three championship series that begins on Tuesday at the Arena in San Juan City
After forging a title showdown with the Blaze Spikers for the sixth straight time, De Jesus knows that Petron is really a strong and complete team in staying undefeated in 17 straight games.
But it doesn’t mean that the Cargo Movers will back down as their coach insisted that the ball is round and Petron isn’t invincible.
“Well kasi kompleto naman ang Petron pero bilog ang bola,” De Jesus said. “At saka yung mga bata lalo na pag nasa loob ng court may pride naman. So iba yung may pride, animan lang naman yung volleyball sa loob.”
Since the franchise joined the club league in 2016, the three-time PSL champion coach admitted that this is their hardest conference because of the absence of Kim Fajardo, who is out for the conference with a dislocated and fractured pinky finger, and Kianna Dy, nursing a knee injury as well as pregnant Cha Cruz-Behag.
But they still made it to the grandest stage of the import-flavored conference led by reinforcements Lindsay Stalzer and MJ Perez as well as locals Aby Maraño, Ara Galang, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili and Alex Cabanos.
“Sa akin, ito yung pinakamahirap na team na paabutin sa Finals considering na maraming wala,” said De Jesus, who is also juggling his coaching duties with F2 Logistics and his Final Four-bound De La Salle in the ongoing UAAP Season 81. “Big accomplishment na ito para sa team na ganitong line up.”
They only won one set against Petron in their first-round meeting, before getting swept in Round 2, but De Jesus believes that Perez, who has yet to face the Blaze Spikers this year since she came late in the preliminary round, will be a great addition heading into the Finals.
“Malaki yung contribution ni MJ, attack, yung koneksyon inside the court so malaking bagay,” De Jesus said. “Hindi ito yung import na bigyan mo ng instructions, hindi masusunod e. Susunod at susunod kumbaga very professional yun ang masasabi ko para sa kanya.”