Fearsome duo returns for F2 Logistics

Wednesday, 03 Jan 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad
Photo courtesy of Noel Monzales, Volleyball PH

F2 Logistics’ fearsome duo – Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan – is set to return for another tour of duty when the new edition of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix fires off on Feb. 17.

Team manager Hollie Reyes said they are already inching closer to an agreement after the two foreign players expressed their willingness to return after powering the Cargo Movers to the Grand Prix title last month.

The tandem of Perez and Bryan is arguably the most explosive pair ever to play in the most prestigious club league in the country.

Although Perez ran away with the Most Valuable Player (MVP) crown, it was Bryan’s impressive performance in their best-of-three finals showdown against Petron that led the Cargo Movers to their first Grand Prix title.

Bryan, a power-hitter from the United States, kept the defense guessing after head coach Ramil de Jesus moved her back to her original spot at the opposite while tapping skipper Cha Cruz to serve as Perez’s diagonal at the open spiker slot.

The gamble paid off and the Cargo Movers went on to complete their date with history when they became the first PSL squad to storm back from a 0-1 deficit in a best-of-three title series.

Reyes said it’s just a matter of time before these two imports sign on the dotted lines.

“We’re already on the final stage of our negotiation and we expect them to sign the contract any time soon.”

“All we’re ironing out are just some minor details. But we don’t see any problem with that since they already expressed their intention to return after we won the (Grand Prix) title last year. We’re looking to have them on board any time soon.”

Aside from Perez and Bryan, the Cargo Movers are also looking to tap a libero as third import following the leave of absence of former MVP Dawn Macandili, who will join De La Salle University in its quest in the UAAP.

“We’re seriously contemplating on hiring a third import.”

“But it all depends on who is available on the market. We’ll see. If we can’t get a very good import as libero, I think we’ll just convert one of our local players to be the libero.”

Careful

Aside from Macandili, the Cargo Movers will also lose other key players like Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy, CJ Saga and Desiree Cheng to the UAAP.

Reyes said they are looking to recruit other local players to fill the huge void that would be created by their absence.

She stressed that looking for local players has never been easy.

“As we know coach Ramil, he is looking for players who can not just play, but also fit into his system. He wants the local players whom we will recruit to stay with until the All-Filipino (Conference) and the rest of the season. So we have to be very careful.”

Multiple sources around the league said the Cargo Movers are looking for a pure libero, an opposite spiker and a second setter.

In fact, they were eyeing former La Salle star Chie Saet to serve as second setter until an offer to join a new team in the rival league came her way.

No pressure

Reyes admitted that the stakes are high in the upcoming Grand Prix, especially since they will be marching as reigning champions.

But de Jesus said he’s not expecting a lot from his wards.

“There’s no pressure on our part.”

“We all know that we lost the core of our team to the UAAP. So whatever finish we get – be it runner-up or semifinals – is already a major achievement for us.”

“All we have to do is to do our best and play our hearts out every game.”

The Cargo Movers are set to start their buildup either in the second or third week of January.