BATANGAS, Philippines – Lloyd Josafat shone as Go for Gold-Air Force clinched the first title berth with a 26-28, 25-22, 25-18, 25-19 conquest of Global Remit in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League on Friday, December 3 at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa City.
Josafat, a University of the East middle blocker, came through with 4 blocks and 3 service aces for 15 points.
“My mindset is to be ready. Every game, my coach will tell me to be prepared,” said Josafat, who entered the match in the second set. “I need to be focused in blockings, in attacks.”
Team Dasmariñas also survived VNS Manileño Spikers in the other semifinal match to to arrange a championship duel with Go for Gold-Air Force.
Mark Calado powered Team Dasmariñas to a thrilling five-set victory over VNS Manileño, 25-20, 30-28, 20-25, 21-25, 18-16, in the near two-hour match.
When the chips were down, the Monarchs turned to Calado, who scored all but one of his 28 points from spikes as they withstood the Manileño Spikers’ fightback from two sets down to emerge victorious in the semifinal.
Madzlan Gampong had 3 blocks in a 17-point effort while Ronniel Rosales chipped in 13 points for the Monarchs.
It will be a battle of undefeated teams for the gold as the Monarchs (4-0) and the Aguilas (3-0) go for all the marbles at 4 pm Saturday, December 4.
Aside from earning the distinction as the first-ever Champions League winners, the champions will also become the Philippines representative to the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Urmia, Iran on May 15 to 22, 2022.
The Monarchs held their composure after the Manileño Spikers rallied back from two sets down to force a fifth set.
“I told my teammates to stay calm. I simply wanted to win,” said Calado, who scored back-to-back kills to put the Monarchs at match point.
Setter Cian Silang then drilled in a service ace to ice the game for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs played without head coach Norman Miguel, who was quarantined on Friday for breaking health protocols. He had to undergo another antigen test and will be available for the gold-medal match on Saturday if he yields a negative result.
“We lost our composure in the third and fourth set. I told them before the fifth set we should not end our journey here. We should keep our focus to our goal,” said skipper Jayvee Sumagaysay, who fired 3 service aces.
“I told my teammates that even without coach, he is not the one who is playing. He is simply our guide,” he added. “We are the ones who are performing inside the court. As a team captain, I told them to stay together.” – Rappler.com