She might not have played from the beginning of the PSL Grand Prix 2019. However, Maria Jose Perez is locked and loaded to help the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers to win back the title in the import-laden conference.
The bombshell returns to action
Perez became an instant fan favorite when she first suited up for the Cargo Movers with fellow import Kennedy Bryan during the 2017 PSL Grand Prix. Adjusting to Philippine volleyball seemed easy as they won the title over the Petron Blaze Spikers and she was named tournament MVP. However, they did not complete the quest of winning back-to-back Grand Prix titles as the Blaze Spikers took the crown with reinforcements Katherine Bell, Lindsay Stalzer, and Yuri Fukuda.
Returning for the third time, she feels at home with the Cargo Movers. “I feel the same. It’s the same system, the same coach. I feel that there is a good connection between my teammates and I inside and outside the court. I think step by step we can get a good connection between each other.”
But while the familiarity is there, the former Venezuelan National Team member will have to make some adjustments. Most important of which is that Kim Fajardo is sidelined due to injury and she has to build on-court chemistry with Alexine Cabanos who was not part of the team in the two previous Grand Prix. “We are trying to work together in practice and we are adjusting very well. That is the job of the import to adjust to the setters. She is improving very well. Alex is doing a great job and she is contributing very well to the improvement of the team to get better.”
Blending well with Stalzer
She also had to adjust to the reality that Stalzer is not a foe anymore after battling it out for the past two seasons. Now, they get to share one side of the court and try to give a fourth Philippine Superliga championship for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored club.
This was not the first time that Stalzer and Perez donned the same uniform for they have played together before. Though she’s coming in late in the conference, knowing Stalzer’s game makes it easy for Perez to fit in. “It’s very good. We actually played with each other before in Indonesia for another team. For us it’s simple and easy. We are friends and that is a good start for us.”
One goal in mind
Now that she is back, Perez is looking at redemption by claiming the Grand Prix title once more. With her and Stalzer complementing the likes of Aby Marano, Majoy Baron, Ara Galang, Dawn Macandili, and Michelle Morente, Perez is certain that they are on the right track. “That’s our first goal, to reach the finals. We have to work hard to get there. I think we are in the right way now and hopefully take the championship once again for F2.”
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