With Cignal putting on a valiant stand, Kalei Mau’s return after a three-week break nursing an injury proved to be a pivotal moment for F2 Logistics.
Mau took charge for the Cargo Movers in their hard-earned four-set, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-21, decision over the HD Spikers during the knockout semifinals of the 2019 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Invitationals Cup, earlier at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
Reclaiming her role as the team’s go-to player, the 24-year old spiker unloaded 21 kills, a block and an ace for a 23-point scoring output, sending the defending champs to their eighth straight Finals stint.
“Honestly my teammates worked way too hard for me be messing up on the court. So in my head, I’m just like, I gotta do it for them. They’re really pulling a lot of the load off of me which I’m so thankful for. They’re been awesome and I gotta do my job. I’m here for a reason,” said Mau, who added 24 digs for a double-double performance.
While she has successfully made her comeback during their sweep of Sta. Lucia last Sunday, the national team campaigner’s presence was more felt by F2 Logistics in this match that lasted for two hours and six minutes.
After a slow performance in the first half of the game, Mau scorched hot in the next two scoring eight in the third and another seven in the fourth, including the back-to-back backrow bullets that put the Cargo Movers at match point before Des Cheng sealed the victory.
“For me, this is not our cleanest match. Actually, this is my first real full match that I’ve played in three weeks so I’m thankful,” said the All Filipino Conference MVP.
Mau and F2 Logistics now set their sights on the winner-takes-all championship game on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo. As Mau eyes her second, the Cargo Movers are shooting for their fifth overall PSL title.
But while Cignal gave them a tough challenge, Mau is expecting a tougher battle ahead as Petron stands in their way to a back-to-back Invitationals championship.
With only less than 48 hours to prepare for the colossal clash, Mau said she’ll be making necessary preparations which focus on keeping her body in shape especially as she was coming off an injury.
“For me, I just really have to be precautions with my injury. We’re not getting younger so I got to treat my body like the most important thing ‘coz if it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t be here. Definitely gonna be in the weight room, in the training room and on the court,” she closed.
(Image from Facebook/F2 Logistics)