NCR wins secondary boys volleyball gold at Palaro
LAGUNA, Philippines - A repeat of last year's championship duel was anticipated by a huge crowd for the secondary boys volleyball but this time, it has a different ending.
The National Capital Region refused to settle for second this time as they bagged the most important victory at the the expense of host region and last year's champion Calabarzon, but not before the game went all the way to five sets.
Calabarzon took the first set, 25-20, thanks to the good defense shown by the host region's frontline.
NCR, however, refused to be buried deep in the game as they won the second set of the game, 23-25. They also owned the third set which ended at 27-25, after trailing early at 5-11, to lead the game 2-1.
Wanting to repeat history, Calabarzon sent the game to a deciding set 5 after an intense fourth set, 26-24.
But this time, NCR, led by team captain Edward Camposano and under University of the East Coach Ruel Pascua, wanted to win it all this time.
In a winner-take-all set 5, Calabarzon led by as much as 3 points, 10-7, but NCR was quick to tie the set at 10-all. They eventually won the deciding set, 15-12, courtesy of an attack by Camposano.
According to Coach Pascua, they had to use their silver medal finish last year as a motivation to take down Calabarzon.
"Sabi nila 'History repeats itself', pero hindi. Sila ang nagchampion last year, tayo naman ngayon. Hindi yun puwede maulit," he said.
(They say that history repeats itself but we refuse to accept that. They won the championship last year, it's our time this year. It cannot happen again.)
Team captain and UE-bound Camposano, also included in last year's line-up, also expressed his joy after the victory.
"Masaya po kasi nagbunga yung mga pinaghirapan namin. Naibawi namin yung seniors namin last year," he said.
(I'm happy because all our hardwork paid off. We were able to avenge our last year's seniors.)
Meanwhile, last year's Bronze medalist Western Visayas emerged as elementary boys volleyball champs as they swept Central Visayas, 25-15 and 25-23.
Teary-eyed Western Visayas team trainer Eddie Yugore, their triumph is both fulfilling and unexpected.
"God is good! Maliliit po kami tapos nagpray lang po talaga kami," shared Yugore, who also bared that their vehicle went flat on the way to the venue which explains their slightly late arrival.
Head Coach Arnel Cabio confirmed the difficulty they experienced going to the venue but said that they took comfort in the no-default rule in Palaro championship game.
"Ginawa na lang namin ang lahat para kahit kaunti, makapag-warm up naman kami," said the soft-spoken coach.
(We did everything we could so that we could warm up even for a little.)
As of posting, volleyball medalists for all categories await the awarding ceremonies still at the Main Gymnasiun of Laguna Sports Complex, Sta. Cruz. - Rappler.com