CPS spikers end Champions League stint with upset win over Petro Gazz
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The California Precision Sports (CPS) logged their second win in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League by upsetting the Petro Gazz in a five-set thriller on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa City, Batangas.
CPS came back from a two-set deficit, 18-25 and 12-15, by winning the next three including the tie-breaker, 25-22, 25-14, and 15-13.
Cebuana spiker Casiey Dongallo and teammate Jelai Gajero scored 22 points each as the Antipolo-based CPS capped its well-praised participation in the tournament with a 2-3 win-loss record.
It was a major accomplishment for a bunch of senior high school standouts who went up against professional volleyball squads in the tournament.
Despite the tremendous odds of having to face the country’s top professional spikers, CPS came well prepared and was bent on making a statement in the tournament loaded with stars.
“Every game is a championship game. We can’t treat it as if there’s nothing. We need to leave everything on the floor because it is our last game,” said skipper Kizzie Madriaga, who had 13 digs and 13 excellent sets.
The 16-year-old Dongallo, who hails from Catmon, Cebu, ended her stint with a league-best 95 points and is expected to contend to become a part of the Dream Team being one of the two best outside spikers in the tournament.
“Compared to outside hitters like Ate Kalei [Mau]…compared to her and the others, they have better percentages than me,” Dongallo said.
“But if I will get the award, thank you.”
Gajero was also impressive on both ends on the floor and collected 19 digs and 15 receptions.
“I’m just trying my best. Our opponents are professional players, so I have to battle it out not only in hitting,” the 17-year old Gajero said. “I need to help in passing for the team to have a great offense and helping in floor defense.”
The defeat for Petro Gazz put them in a do-or-die game with the Tuguegarao Perlas Spikers for the bronze medal at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Ces Molina had 22 points, including three blocks, while Cebuana Grethcel Soltones added 14 points, three blocks, 21 receptions, and 11 digs for Petro Gazz. /rcg
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