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Stalzer, Cargo Movers inch closer to finals

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Lindsay Stalzer dug deep into her well of experience as she towed F2 Logistics to an impressive 25-14, 17-25, 25-16, 25-22 victory over PLDT Home Fibr in Game 1 of the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix best-of-three semifinal series at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Stalzer came through with clutch hits to put the Cargo Movers on the brink of another finals appearance in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Asics, Mueller, Mikasa, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project.

The Cargo Movers need one more win on Thursday to make it back to the finals against the survivor in the other semifinal series between Petron and Cignal, who are still clashing as of press time.

A two-time Most Valuable Player, Stalzer finished with 29 points, including three straight kills that shattered the deadlock at 22-all en route to the crucial win in this semifinal series that also has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners.

The former Bradley University star also had three aces and a pair of blocks while Venezuelan import Maria Jose Perez chipped in 19 points, including 15 digs and nine excellent receptions.

“Actually, she was so frustrated in the second set. So I told her that we need your leadership and maturity as an import,” said F2 Logistics head coach Ramil de Jesus.

“That woke her up and she started playing well in the third set. She knew what to do.”

Local stars Aby Marano and Ara Galang added 11 and nine markers, respectively, for F2 Logistics, which is looking to avenge their bitter defeat to Petron in the thrilling final showdown last year.

De Jesus admitted that their sluggish second set was due to the inconsistent plays of setter Alex Cabanos, who is filling in the big shoes of national team member Kim Fajardo, who was ruled out of the conference due to finger injury.

“I don’t have problems with my spiker. Our problem was the consistency of our setter. There were times that her sets are okay, but most of the time, her sets don’t reach the spikers,” de Jesus said.

Lazard and Kendra Dahlke delivered 21 and 19 points, respectively, while Jasmine Nabor made 25 excellent sets for the Power Hitters, whose local players combined for only 15 points.