Davaoeños crush CALABARZON spikers’ championship hope
After establishing a flawless record in the eliminations, the Region 4-A spikers dropped their chance to reclaim the Private Schools Athletic Association – Nationals championship crown as they bowed to the Davao Region.
The men’s team fell in a neck-and-neck match, 3-2, at the Koronadal National Comprehensive High School this morning, April 7, while the women’s squad tasted a three straight-set defeat in Osita Central Elementary School.
Earlier in the game, the Davaoeños buried kills on the red-and-white court while the CALABARZON spikers committed several errors and surrendered the first set, 19-25.
The Southern Tagalog spikers recovered during the second set as Patriot Eddiemar Kasim fired spikes and teammates Bryan Castro, Jerome Mirano, and Batangas’ Nikko Ortega built rock-hard blocks, snatching the set, 25-20.
Luck once again turned against the Region 4-A squad after they committed outside hits and failed to defend their perimeter from the Region 11 attacks, 17-25.
With high hopes, Kasim led his team to stretch the match to a fifth set, 25-21. However, the red-and-white spikers lost their vigor amid the Davaoeño crowd during the crucial last set, 10-15.
After facing a tough contender, Region 4-A head coach Joven Racelis said, “Pinaghandaan naman namin, pinagplanuhan namin kung paano sila talunin kaso lang talaga, bumigay ‘yung [mga] bata. Nawala ‘yung puso sa paglalaro, [na]taranta, so siguro, bata pa.” He also added that the team’s weakness is the maturity in the game, “… kasi ‘yung power is buo, malakas pumalo, malakas maglaro, problema siguro ‘yung crucial [moments at] crowd, ‘yon ‘yung pressure ng kalaban, nawawala sila [sa focus].
Meanwhile, the CALABARZON Lady Spikers’ first set became a threat for the Davaoeños as team captain Cherry Rose Nunag, Iumi Yongco, and Cyren Montecer pumped scores for the red-and-white team, closing the set in a near 22-25 outcome.
However, as the second and third canto concluded, the finals stage opportunity for the red-and white squad faded, scoring 18-25 in the last two sets.