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USJ-R tops Shakey’s V-League ends STC's fairytale run to win first ever regional crown

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - October 21, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) endured all the ups and downs, the twists and turns it went through from the elimination round up to the final battle on the way to seize its first ever title in the Central Visayas leg of the Shakey's Girls Volleyball League Season 11 yesterday at the Aznar Coliseum.

No amount of aftershocks that rattled Cebu could stop the USJ-R lady spikers from winning the crown following a five-set thriller against the tough-fighting St.Theresa's College, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-8.

USJ-R of coach Roldan Potot stumbled before Southwestern University (SWU) during the classification stage, but gamely moved on from that loss by sweeping its remaining assignments against the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, University of San Carlos and University of Southern Philippines Foundation to finish as the No.2 qualifier from pool A.

USJ-R then came up with a masterful 25-21, 25-11 demolition of pool B topseed Mandaue City Comprehensive National High School to set up a title showdown with the gritty Theresians, who pulled off a stunner when they dethroned SWU in a grueling three-set battle, 19-25, 25-23, 28-26.

“They were totally off.They had all the chances, but could not overtake STC. It was ours to lose,” sad SWU coach Jordan Paca.

SWU went on to claim the bronze medal after fending off MCCHNS, 29-27, 25-21.

STC, for its part, put up a gallant stand against the Spiking Jaguars in the finals. The Theresians faltered in the opening set, but readily made amends in the second frame. The Jaguars bounced back in the third, but STC capitalized on USJ-R's spate of service errors and bad receptions to forge a rubbermatch,

In the deciding fifth set, coach Potot reminded his wards to stay focused and not to be shaken nor be outdone by the Theresians.

STC's Paula Maninang kept her team going, but Rica Jane Rivera, who suited up for USJ-R for the first time, played better to carry her team when it mattered most.

Aside from handing USJ-R its first regional championship after five failed attempts, Rivera was also named as the tournament MVP and best attacker.

 Maninang emerged as the best blocker, SWU's Mary Angelu Castillo the best setter, Crisley Ann Sucalit the best receiver and server, while MCCNHS' Frances Macasero took the best digger honors.

USJ-R though will not have the sole right to represent Central Visayas for the 'Battle of the Best' in the Shakey's Girls Volleyball League as tournament director Johanz Buenvenida announced during the awarding ceremony that a final selection should be made for the region to have a strong representation in the national finals set January 13-17  next year at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Aside from that, Buenvenida disclosed that all regional squads may also acquire an import, foreign or other outstanding players to beef up their respective rosters.

“SWU won first runner-up last year in the national finals, but we want Central Visayas to finally get the national title so we encourage you to form a very strong team,” said Buenvenida. (FREEMAN)

 

 

 

AZNAR COLISEUM BATTLE OF THE BEST BUENVENIDA CEBU CENTRAL VISAYAS CRISLEY ANN SUCALIT FRANCES MACASERO GIRLS VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE GIRLS VOLLEYBALL LEAGUE SEASON THERESIANS USJ
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