Morente ties yellow ribbon

Thursday, 22 Feb 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

Chasing excellence has never been new to Michelle Morente.

And in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix, the prized opposite spiker opted to join an elite organization that is capable of building a dynasty – F2 Logistics.

Last year, the Cargo Movers were the toast of the town.

Four national team members in Kim Fajardo, Dawn Macandili, Kianna Dy and Aby Marano were on the roster as well as two powerful imports in Kennedy Bryan of United States and Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela.

They sliced through the Grand Prix like a hot knife to butter as they won all but one game in the eliminations. In the quarterfinals, they easily got rid of newbie Iriga City before clobbering Cocolife in the semifinals to punch a ticket to the best-of-three finals.

But a powerful in Petron was blocking the way.

Led by seasoned import Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley, the Blaze Spikers took Game 1 before racking to a sizzling start in Game 2.

With the Blaze Spikers way ahead, 9-0, in the second set, F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus crafted a brilliant idea on how to steal the victory: He switched Bryan to the opposite while fielding in veteran Cha Cruz to the open spiker slot to back Perez.

The gamble paid a handsome reward as the Cargo Movers went on a rampage to win Game 2, giving them enough momentum to dominate Game 3 and win their second title in the country’s most prestigious women’s club league.

This year, the Cargo Movers will have a tough challenge.

The core of De La Salle University players like Macandili, Dy, Majoy Baron and Desiree Cheng will be out to see action in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

Sure, Bryan and Perez will be returning as well as Fajardo, Marano and Ara Galang. They also recruited Japanese libero Minami Yoshioka and middle blocker Lourdes Clemente.

Still, there’s a gaping hole at the opposite that the Cargo Movers need to fill.

So they called on a player craving for excellence – Morente.

Honor and privilege

Morente stressed that she is honored to be part of a prestigious organization such as F2 Logistics.

After all, the company prides itself as a giant in the logistics and cargo industry in the country and it is only fitting that she joins an organization that can use her talent to the fullest.

More than that, the Cargo Movers are winners.

“F2 Logistics is known to be one of the cargo and logistics giants in the country. I believe that the team will give me the opportunity to become the person I want to be in the future, especially in academics and sports.”

“Being part of a winning team is both an honor and a privilege. Every game is a real challenge. So it is important for me to play my best and enjoy the game.”

A former star at Ateneo de Manila University, Morente said suiting up for F2 Logistics would also give her the chance to blossom not only inside the volleyball court, but also outside of it.

In fact, F2 Logistics CEO Efren Uy is digging deep into his pocket to pay for her education at La Salle as part of the corporate’s social responsibility, something which is a very big help to her and her family as well.

This kind of support strengthens and prepares her for the grueling journey ahead.

“Only few people get the opportunity to experience the support of the employees and management of F2 Logistics.”

“I’m happy to see the supporters in eye-catching yellow shirts cheering the team. Also, F2 (Logistics), through Sir Efren sponsors my scholarship as part of its corporate social responsibility to student-athletes.

Also, F2 (Logistics) has a solid program through volleyball clinics.”

Looking forward

Morente admitted that seeing action in the PSL for the first time puts a lot of butterflies in her stomach.

Aside from getting a golden chance to compete against the best local players, she would also get a taste of topnotch action with the presence of the imports, something which she can use when she suits up for the Lady Spikers next year.

This year’s batch of imports is said to be the strongest.

Bohdana Anisova of Ukraine and Marisa Field of Canada are back for Sta. Lucia as well as Hurley and Stalzer for Petron and Sara Klisura and Taylor Milton of Cocolife.

Morente said the Cargo Movers remain strong, but strength on paper alone doesn’t equate to a championship crown.

They still have to work for it.

“I’m looking forward to this conference.”

“I have learned and is still learning a lot of things. I know that this is a long series and also very exciting. Expect me to give my all to defend our title.”

Morente knows that joining F2 Logistics is a major challenge.

But she’s ready.

For her, yellow is no longer just a color.

It now symbolizes a family.