MANILA, Philippines – In front of a boisterous crowd on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, F2 Logistics defeated Creamline in a match that came down to heart and nerves, 22 to 25, 23 to 25, 25 to 20, 25 to 19, 15 to 11, to deliver a victory that might define its Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference campaign.
The PVL game, which was played at the Big Dome for the first time, featured many ties and lead changes throughout all five sets, much to the delight of the crowd. The Cargo Movers showed themselves to be steadier and more tenacious, coming back from two sets down against a team that had swept its first five games decisively to advance to the semifinals.
The Cargo Movers climbed up to fifth place with a record of 3 to 2 going into the single round elimination rounds of the season-ending conference conducted by Sports Vision thanks to that thrilling escape, which extended F2 Logistics’ winning streak to three after losing its first two games.
After heartbreakingly losing the first two sets, the Cargo Movers came back strongly in the third and dominating the fourth until ending the match with a crucial 7 to 3 kick in the dying seconds. Creamline had been in control of the match from the beginning, but it was ultimately defeated.
In the deciding frame, there were three lead changes and seven tie-breaks, but a Kalei Mau kill broke the final tie at 8 and the Cargo Movers held onto the two-point lead they had increased to four on a Shola Alvarez ace.
Lindsay Stalzer, who led the team’s comeback in the third with her piercing shots, gave F2 match point with a gentle hit to an open area on Zone 5 despite the previous NCAA MVP giving up the point on her subsequent serve that smacked the net. Lindsay Stalzer had been a key player in the team’s comeback. Elaine Kasilag, a reserve player, then stepped up with a clincher that crashed into Ced Domingo’s arms following another service error from Iris Tolenada. This caused a furious F2 celebration while essentially rendering the Cool Smashers and their supporters speechless.
With Petro Gazz maintaining third place at 3 to 1 and F2 Logistics catching up one game behind, the defeat of Creamline allowed the idle Chery Tiggo Crossovers to reclaim a share of the top spot at 5 to 1.