F2 Logistics skipper Aby Maraño knows very well how to motivate her teammates.
That’s why with the shadows of defeat slowly creeping in on the Cargo Movers, the fiery Maraño found the perfect words to fire up her crew and engineer a dramatic fightback to seal a 23-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-23, 16-14 victory over Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Saturday at the Philsports Arena.
The Cargo Movers crawled back from a two-set deficit en route to their second win over the Cool Smashers following their five-set escape in the Reinforced Conference last year.
With that, F2 Logistics improved its win-loss record to 3-1 to forge a tie with its victim – thanks to the mental toughness shown by Maraño, especially in the crucial stretch.
“I just told them three things: Atin ‘to. Walang papayag. Tibay ng loob. I kept repeating that until I lost my voice,” Marano said, recalling her instruction during the crucial moment of the fifth set.
The Cargo Movers even went down on a 10-13 hole in the deciding frame and were put on the brink of suffering yet another sorry loss following a straight-set defeat at the hands of Chery Tiggo three nights before.
Hanging on to dear life at 12-14, F2 Logistics pushed back hard with Maraño leading the way.
“When I came in during the last rotation, I told them to let me do it. I told Ivy (Lacsina) to just land her service with Kianna (Dy), Ara and me defending at the net,” Maraño, who finished with 14 points, said.
Lacsina showed mental toughness and nerves of steel when she came to the service area with the Cargo Movers trailing, 13-14. She nailed her services perfectly which enabled F2 Logistics to make a final push for the home run.
Creamline’s Ced Domingo was called for a double contact after her quick attack was stopped by F2 Logistics’ defensive wall that forced a deuce. Dy, who was a non-factor in the previous game with just one point, scored a crucial kill block on Tots Carlos that gave her club the match point advantage.
Then came Lacsina’s coup de grace.
“During Ivy’s last serve, Ara and I told her: ‘Ivy in this most important moment, land an ace.’ And she delivered,” Maraño said.
New recruit Myla Pablo, who muscled her way to a personal conference-best 27 points off 22 attacks and conference-high five kill blocks, credited Maraño for steering the ship in the right direction in the middle of a tempest.
“We all worked hard for this win. We can’t do this without each other inside the court, especially Ate Aby who kept on reminding us that victory is ours,” Pablo said following her first win over the Cool Smashers since the league turned pro in 2021.
“So, we felt that when Ate Aby came in it boosted our confidence and motivated us,” Pablo added.
Maraño, however, deflected all the credit, saying that it was the total team effort that pulled the Cargo Movers through.
“We’re constantly communicating inside the court. We tried to hold our block since Creamline’s strength is attacking. In that crucial moment we really have to execute our coaches’ instructions,” she said.
“Good thing we’re able to effectively apply the instructions of coach (Regine Diego) that helped us recover from three points down.”