Cebuano teams collide in semifinals
PNG Men’s Volleyball
If multi-titled head coach Grace Antigua of the Cebu Province would have her way, she would have wanted her team and Cebu City to meet in the finals of men’s volleyball in the Philippine National Games 2018.
But as fate would have it, both Cebu teams will instead cross paths in the semifinal round, which means only one Cebuano team will advance to the gold medal round of this multi-sporting meet.
“I was hoping that we (Cebu Province and Cebu City) will cross paths in the championship round,” Antigua, a former University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) coach, said. “It’s a bit sad to compete against fellow Cebuanos this early.”
Both teams face off today at the University of San Carlos gym.
Antigua said there is nothing both teams can do now but to get ready for battle.
She did admit that she is having a hard time preparing a gameplan against Cebu City.
“Our team almost has the same patterns and techniques with the opponent. Especially that some of their players used to train under my leadership,” Antigua said.
Antigua’s former players Alstair Ian Giranod, Dan Ivan Joshua Potot, Kevin Labay, and Jan Hector Obando, are playing for the Cebu City team. Even the Cebu City’s coach, Dave Arreza, is Antigua’s former assistant at USJ-R.
Still, Antigua remains optimistic, hoping her team’s experience will push them to the championship round.
Arreza admits Cebu Province has an upper hand because of its veteran players led by Ariel Carumba, Norvie Labuga and Dave Cabaron, but he thinks his team has a fighting chance.
“Yes, they (Cebu Province) have the power and experience but we really worked hard on our teamwork which I know could make us equal on court,” Arreza said.
Cebu City defeated Davao, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, to make the semis while Cebu Province downed Cagayan de Oro, 25-14, 25-20, 25-19, to advance.
The other semifinalists playing today are Makati City and Iligan City.
Makati City defeated Bayawan City in the quarterfinals, 25-18, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15, while Iligan City trounced Tacloban City, 31-29, 26-24, 17-25, 26-24. /with a report from Mars G. Alison and Dale Rosal
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