New coach ready for challenge

Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

The pressure is on for Arnold Laniog as he steers F2 Logistics to its title-retention bid in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix.

Laniog is no longer a stranger to the Cargo Movers.

A decorated beach volleyball player in his playing days, the 33-year old Laniog subbed in for Ramil de Jesus when the Cargo Movers tandem of Aby Marano and Danika Gendrauli saw action in the PSL Challenge Cup Beach Volleyball tournament last year.

Little did he know that it won’t be his last time to call the shots for F2 Logistics.

With de Jesus returning to De La Salle University for its own title defense in the UAAP, Laniog was given the golden opportunity to coach the Cargo Movers and retain the crown.

Laniog said the marching order was given to him in the second week of January and he only managed to join the training two weeks ago due to his coaching commitments with the men’s and women’s team of College of Saint Benilde in the NCAA.

He said de Jesus remains very much in control of the team as the Cargo Movers are training with the Lady Spikers. He, however, has no choice but to make some bold decision for F2 Logistics when the game is on the line.

That’s where his coaching chops come in.

“Coach Ramil is still very hands-on with the team.”

“It just so happened that he needs an extra hand because the schedule of F2 (Logistics) and La Salle are very similar. But we’re still using his system. In fact, we’ve been training two weeks ago and he gave me an idea of his system.”

Laniog passed his first major test with flying colors when the Cargo Movers clobbered Cocolife in straight sets, 25-21, 25-15, 25-16, over the weekend.

Pressure

Laniog admitted that accepting the job comes with a lot of pressure.

He, in fact, inherited a team with championship pedigree as the Cargo Movers won the 2016 All-Filipino Conference and the 2017 Grand Prix titles.

Last year, the Cargo Movers made the unthinkable happen.

Trailing by one game in their best-of-three title showdown, the Cargo Movers fought back from a 0-9 deficit to conquer Game Two that paved the way for an impressive performance in Game Three en route to the title.

Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela was the star of the show while Cha Cruz, Kennedy Bryan, Aby Marano and Kim Fajardo made significant contributions for the Cargo Movers.
This year, it’s different.

De Jesus and other La Salle stars such as Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron were gone to help the Cargo Movers defend their title.

Their absence, however, will be hardly felt as Michelle Morente, Lourdes Clemente and Ara Galang where activated while Minami Yoshioka was tapped to fill the gaping hole at the backline created by Macandili’s absence.

This adds a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Laniog.

“There’s a lot of expectations on me right now.”

“Of course, I will be stepping in for a great coach in coach Ramil and I know that all eyes will be on me. But I will try my best to live above expectations and do everything to help the team regain the title.”