MANILA, Philippines — F2 Logistics coach Regine Diego credited the Cargo Movers’ epic five-set victory over Choco Mucho on Tuesday to his eagle-eyed staff.
The Cargo Movers went undefeated after their victory 21-25, 25-17, 17-25, 25-21, 18-16 and moved closer to booking a spot in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference Semi-Finals at the packed Philsports Arena.
They were one point away from absorbing their first loss in Pool B after Kianna Dy’s attacking exit, which was initially called the winning point for the Flying Titans.
But Diego’s coaching staff called for a video challenge, asking for a clean touch. The review showed Dy’s blockers hit the net, leading to an extended fifth set.
Then the F2 Logistics coaches took on another crucial challenge when Choco Mucho again held match point, 15-14, after Jolina Dela Cruz’s smash went long, but the video challenge was deemed successful when the blockers touched the ball.
Mars Alba, Dela Cruz and Ivy Lacsina provided the finishing touches to complete their comeback and hold the Pool B lead with a 3-0 record.
“Our coaching staff actually have responsibilities. They have their own work inside the court while I train. I’m just that stand-up person, but we’re working on it together,” said Diego, the nation’s first female professional volleyball league coach. “We are talking about almost every rotation. It really is teamwork. So, congratulations to my coaching staff, you are the best.
Diego was also grateful to his mentor and former F2 head coach Ramil De Jesus, who watched the game and helped his players show a terrific reception as Choco Mucho failed to score a single ace in their thrilling game in five sets.
“Congratulations to coach Ramil, these players are used to passing. They have honed their first ball. They are all working hard and won’t stop getting that first ball,” she said.
Philsports Arena’s air conditioning system bogged down with 7,067 spectators watching the game, but the Cargo Movers were able to stay in the game for two hours and 37 minutes.
“This fifth set, congratulations to coach Carlo (Buzzichelli), our conditioning coach and trainer Sonny (Montalvo). Because if they (the players) aren’t conditioned well enough, we won’t survive this set,” Diego said.
Despite the thrilling victory, Diego reminds his team that the job is not done as they take on the Petro Gazz Angels (2-1) on Thursday, eyeing to book their group’s top spot in the semi-finals.
“It’s good to celebrate because a win is a win and that win was amazing. But it’s not the end yet. All we have to do is remind these girls that we need to recover more. Our next game is on Thursday, so recovery is key: sleep, nutrition and supplementation. We have coaches for that and they are doing well,” she said. “I know these girls will hopefully not be too confident for the next game. We’re just going to celebrate for a second here and then move on and keep working.
If F2 Logistics books a ticket to the semi-finals, there is still a long way to go as they will play another round robin against the top two from Pool A and Japanese team Kurashiki Ablaze and Vietnamese Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh.
F2 Logistics coach Regine Diego, Kianna Dy and Jolina Dela Cruz after their win from behind against Choco Mucho. #PVL2023
posted by Inquire Sports Tuesday, July 11, 2023
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