Imports Hayley Spelman and Sydney Kemper will play a major role when F2 Logistics clash with Petron in an all-important semifinal battle on Saturday at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City.
Spelman and Kemper obviously hold the key to Cargo Movers’ success.
When Spelman was not yet around, F2 Logistics surrendered their first two games to Foton and Petron, prompting the Cargo Movers to work doubly hard to catch up on the heavyweights as the league took a three-week break to give way for the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship last October.
Then, it was Kemper’s turn to get out of sync as the Cargo Movers lost anew to the Tri-Activ Spikers in a game that would go down as the “Stephanie Niemer Show” after the prolific American reinforcement dropped nine aces that exposed a can of worms in F2 Logistics’ reception.
But everything is now a thing of the past.
Spelman and Kemper are now back in harness as they combined for 28 points to lead the Cargo Movers to a rousing straight set win over RC Cola-Army in the final game of the preliminaries. They followed it up with an equally impressive four-set demolition of Cignal in the playoffs with Kemper firing 18 points while Spelman submitting 17 markers.
And F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus knows how crucial their contribution would be.
They would go wherever their imports would bring them.
[quote]I have high expectations to all of them, especially of our imports. If they play well, they can help the team reach its goal, which is to advance to the finals.[/quote]
‘We are ready’
Composed of the nucleus of reigning UAAP champion La Salle, F2 Logistics is the envy of other teams for its solid teamwork and fluid chemistry. But de Jesus’ squad wasn’t really lucky in the import-flavored Grand Prix.
When it was donning the jersey of Generika, it paraded the tandem of Miyu Shinohara and Natalia Korobkova. Unfortunately, the Lifesavers fell short of their bid as Petron, with Alaina Bergsma and Erica Adachi on board, dominated them in a thrilling four-set battle to win the title.
De Jesus and his wards marched back to the Grand Prix the following year donning the orange and white jersey of Meralco with Christina Alessi and Liis Kullerkann serving as reinforcements.
The result, however, was very forgettable as they finished second to the last place.
Then, things started to change the following year.
De Jesus won a UAAP title with La Salle and made his top gunner – Ara Galang – as the top overall pick in the PSL Rookie Draft. They carried the banner of a new team in F2 Logistics and went on to win the All-Filipino crown while libero Dawn Macandili emerged as the Most Valuable Player.
Now, the ghost of the Grand Prix is threatening to haunt de Jesus and his wards anew. Petron, Foton and RC Cola-Army are all ready, challenging F2 Logistics in what could be the most exciting four-way title race in this young inter-club league.
But the nine-time UAAP champion said they will be ready.
[quote]We are ready. Of course, every team is preparing. But it all boils down to the outcome of the game tomorrow. Hopefully, we can execute our game plan.[/quote]
De Jesus refused to further elaborate and went to training with his Cargo Movers. Nobody was smiling.
Everybody was serious. It seems that nobody can stop these Cargo Movers from claiming the title.