Philippine volleyball

Antipolo’s California Academy captures Shakey’s Girls Volleyball title

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Antipolo’s California Academy captures Shakey’s Girls Volleyball title

YOUNG CHAMPS. California Academy players celebrate their title romp.

Shakey’s Girls Volleyball

California Academy rules high school volleyball action after downing Naga College Foundation in the finals, capping an impressive campaign also highlighted by an upset of reigning UAAP juniors champion NU-Nazareth School in the Final Four

MANILA, Philippines – California Academy punctuated it surprise run with a crown.

Most Valuable Player Casiey Dongallo and Jelaica Gajero showed the way as California Academy downed Naga College Foundation, 25-18, 18-25, 25-14, 25-19, in the finals to rule the inaugural Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (GVIL) on Saturday night, June 3, at San Andres Gym in Malate, Manila.

Gajero, the Best Opposite Spiker, fired 18 points as Dongallo hammered 17, proving to be an unstoppable duo in the Antipolo City-based squad’s 5-0 sweep of the tournament.

Jenalyn Umayam added 13 points for California Academy, which also stunned reigning UAAP juniors champion National U-Nazareth School in the Final Four last week. 

“It wasn’t a perfect game as Naga played really well. We’re glad that in the end, history is made and the girls won the first Shakey’s GVIL. We’re proud of that,” said California Academy coach Obet Vital.

Still, the road to the summit was not a walk in the park as the California Academy spikers had to hold off a resilient Naga side.

As Gajero and Dongallo set the tone in a 25-18 start, Naga refused to go down without a fight behind Arah Ellah Panique to spark a 10-3 start and equalize with a similar score, 25-18.

Umayam then joined the party, conspiring with Gajero and Dongallo for a lethal troika in their 25-14 snowball in the third set before erasing a 2-5 deficit in the fourth for the clincher.

Panique, the Best Outside Hitter, posted a game-high 19 points as Nathasza Kaye Bombita added 15 in the valiant runner-up finish of the Parley Tupaz-mentored Naga team, which had to brave long hours of travel every week just to play here.

Dona Mae de Leon (Best Middle Blocker) of Bacolod Tay Tung High School, NU-NS’ IC Cepada (Best Libero), and California’s Kizzie Madriaga (Best Setter) were also named to the Super Team 

Earlier, De Leon showed the way with 13 points on 11 hits and 2 blocks as Bacolod swept NU-NS, 25-14, 25-22, 25-15 to clinch the bronze medal. 

Jothea Marie Ramos chipped in 11 points while Alexia Montoro and Ana Hermosura fired 6 apiece.

“It’s a big thing for us to bring home a bronze back in Bacolod,” said coach Ian Macariola.

Kianne Louise Olango, who scored 16, served as the lone bright spot in NU-NS’ rare miss at a podium finish. –

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