LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – National Capital Region retained its title as champion in secondary girls volleyball after dominating Calabarzon in 4 sets, 25-23, 13-25, 25-22, 25-21, on Saturday, April 16 during the 2016 Palarong Pambansa at the Bicol Colleges Gymnasium here.
Both teams opened the game with energy, scoring one point after another until Calabarzon gained an early edge in the first frame, 15-9, courtesy of the prolific attacking of Alleiah Malaluan and Jewel Encarnacion of De La Salle Lipa.
NCR stayed with its foes on an ace by Louie Romero, 23-23. Romero then scored the winning point to seal the first set for for her squad, 25-22.
The second canto was another story as Calabarzon stole momentum and opened a whopping 22-11 lead to completely leave NCR behind, 25-13.
But the defending champions refused to succumb to pressure and maintained composure entering the third frame.
“Kinausap po ako ng coach ko. Sabi niya, huwag daw po akong bibitaw kahit anong mangyari. Kahit pa malamangan,” said Elka dela Torre, NCR team captain and 2016 Palarong Pambansa secondary girls volleyball Most Valuable Player.
(Our coach told me not to fold no matter what happens, even if the opponent outscores us.)
True enough, Dela Torre’s leadership carried the champion team as they clinched the third set, 25-23, and continued to dominate in the deciding frame.
This year’s Best Attacker Remelyn Alcomea also scattered sharp kills in the crucial moments of the fourth set to bring home the back-to-back title.
“Bonus na lang po sa akin ‘yong pagiging MVP. Ang importante po talaga sa akin ay ‘yong championship para sa team,” Dela Torre added. (Being the MVP is just a bonus. What’s really important to me is the championship for the team.)
On the other hand, newly established Negros Island Region finished third after thumping the Davao Region earlier today, 20-25, 25-21, 25-19.
Calabarzon’s Janel Maraguinot and Ylizyeth Jazareno were named as Best Setter and Best Receiver, respectively.
NCR’s Romero was awarded Best Server, while Julianne Samonte was Best Blocker. – Rappler.com
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