After three tries since her debut in 2018, Kalei Mau is finally heading to the Finals.
Mau scored her first finals stint as the F2 Logistics resisted Foton’s valiant stand in four sets, 25-19, 25-23, 17-25, 25-19, during the semifinals of the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019 at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
The Fil-Hawaiin outside hitter dropped 16 markers off 14 kills, a block and an ace, sending the Cargo Movers to their seventh straight Finals trip while earning her first since first bursting into the Philippine volleyball scene in 2018’s all-local tourney.
Mau, who finished the prelims as the top scorer, said that Foton’s gutsy stand is a welcome challenge as they head to the championship series with either Petron and Cignal as foe.
The Tornadoes, according to her, is a tough team to defend, thus she and the rest of the Ramil de Jesus-mentored squad had to be solid with their defense.
“It’s really a tough team to defend. They have great offensive girls at the net and you really just have to be still. You really have to be disciplined on the defense. And I think our team couldn’t have gone to the finals without this challenge and I think we’re more ready than ever,” Mau said.
True enough, F2 Logistics’ win wasn’t a walk in the park.
With their backs against the wall, Foton put on a show in the third set behind Jaja Santiago, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Eya Laure, preying on the wobbly service receive of the ladies in yellow.
It was another cold start for the fourth, with the Tornadoes managing to keep at par until the 13-14 mark. But Mau and the Cargo Movers had other things in mind as they made a 6-0 run for a deciding 14-20 lead.
Learning from their third straight win over Foton this conference, Mau said that they need to keep a healthy and positive mindset moving to the next phase, where they aim to claim F2 Logistics’ fourth title.
“Right now, with our bodies feeling this way and our minds overthinking of things, it’s really important to put our hearts out into this and play our heart every second of the game” she said.
“It’s more than just physical. It’s more than just jumping high and hitting hard. It’s what you want and what you’re gonna work for it,” she added.
Mau and the F2 Logistics will have a three days before they plunge back into action on Saturday for the Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series.
(Image from Facebook/Philippine Superliga)