F2 Logistics hosted a block party and served service winners as head coach Benson Bocboc cooked up a surprise against Creamline in their first-ever encounter that turned into an instant classic.
The grand slam-seeking Final Four-bound Cool Smashers were stunned when the Cargo Movers scratched their erstwhile pristine record with solid net defense and superb service game in the much-anticipated Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference showdown witnessed by an 8,595-strong crowd inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum Tuesday night.
Kim Kianna Dy played the gracious host in frustrating the Creamline wingers with a defensive performance to remember in F2 Logistics’ come-from-behind, 22-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-11, victory that extended its winning streak to three and more importantly boosted its chances of grabbing one of the remaining two semifinals seats.
The 5-foot-11 opposite hitter accounted for six of the eye-popping 14 kill blocks tallied by the Cargo Movers against the league leader in attacks and setting.
“Well, Coach Boc gave me that goal. He said that I need to cover their opens, so that’s what I did. He said, ‘This is your job to block these people’, so I took it as a challenge, ‘Okay, Coach Boc, I’ll do my best,’” Dy said following her 18-point night.
Bocboc, a long-time deputy and statistician of on-leave mentor Ramil de Jesus, had the luxury of longer preparation time after the Cargo Movers’ 29 October match against Petro Gazz was postponed due to severe tropical storm “Paeng”.
He used the extra time to review Creamline’s statistics and tendencies to plot an effective gameplan.
He gave his wards an assignment of reaching a certain number of blocks to counter Creamline’s most effective weapon.
“We wanted a minimum of eight blocks because we did poorly, two and five in the first two games. We did eight and seven in the third and fourth games. So I said, if we put in 10 blocks, maybe that’s already over our capacity,” he explained.
Bocboc saw that in the Cool Smashers’ first five games, they gave PLDT 10 block points, six for Petro Gazz, 12 for Cignal, Akari with 12, and semis-bound Chery Tiggo with 11.
“But given that Creamline is an attacking team and Akari got 12 blocks against them, and then Chery had 10 blocks (sic) of course we want to better that. Fourteen? Okay, that’s good,” he said.
F2 Logistics also shocked the league’s leading team in service and No. 2 in the reception department with a dose of its own medicine, landing 14 aces.
“Fourteen aces? Okay. They may have the advantage in attacks but we found other ways to score that’s good for us,” Bocboc said.
The Cool Smashers did get the first two sets but not after sweating it out against the determined Cargo Movers.
The next three frames saw the five-time Philippine Superliga champion steal the spotlight from the PVL’s five-time titlist in front of a sea of pink.
“The game doesn’t finish in just two sets. We all know we worked hard for this moment. It’s a challenge for us. We took it as a challenge,” Dy said.
“We’re two sets down, let’s make it reach five sets and win this game. That was our mindset, everyone. It’s nice that everyone has that mindset. We have one goal, and we got it.”
With a 3-2 record and the morale-boosting win under their feet, the Cargo Movers hope they could sustain their hot run in their last three games Akari on 15 November, Choco Mucho on 17 November and Petro Gazz on 22 November.