Cebuana Dongallo cherishes playing in PNVF Champions League
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Young Cebuana spiker Casiey Dongallo reminisced her experience in playing against the country’s best volleybelles during the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League in Lipa City, Batangas last November.
The 16-year-old Dongallo of Catmon town, northern Cebu, shocked the national volleyball scene when she went-toe-to-toe with some of the best pro-female volleyball players while playing for her alma mater, the California Academy, which fielded in the California Precision Sports (CPS).
Dongallo didn’t back down against Philippines Volleyball League (PVL) teams F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Crossovers, Petro Gazz Angels, Baguio Lady Highlanders, and Tuguegarao Perlas Spikers.
Ultimately, she finished with a league-best 95 points and was named one of the two best outside spikers in the tournament.
More that that, Dongallo enjoyed every minute on the floor as she was able to play against some of the top volleyball players she idolizes.
The 5-foot-6 spiker had a rare chance to play against top-tier volleybelles in Kalei Mau, Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and other notable professional volleyball players.
Dongallo didn’t waste the opportunity and went on playing like a pro.
“We were nervous when we heard the names of the teams competing in the league like F2. We know that they are very strong, but we were very excited because we’ll play against pro volleyball players even at our very young age. Our team was composed of 13 to 17 year old players,” Dongallo said.
Dongallo said that she used to watch these pro teams on television, not knowing that she’d be playing against them one day.
“We used to watch them on TV. But we vowed to do our best. We played and enjoyed every moment of each game. We lived to our motto, ‘nothing to lose, everything to gain,’ it was an unforgettable experience not just for me but for the entire team,” added Dongallo.
Despite her MVP-like performance, Dongallo humbly admitted that she was terrible before the PNVF. She revealed that she struggled during tune-up competitions, but she persevered.
“To be honest, I didn’t perform well before PNVF. But I did what I’m supposed to do: play and stay focused.”
THE NEXT ALYZZA VALDEZ?
Since the PNVF Champions League was streamed on social media, many netizens noticed the uncanny similarities of Dongallo and volleyball star Alyzza Valdez’s skills.
However, Dongallo immediately downplayed the comparison, but she accepted it as a compliment.
“I appreciate their complement and comparison to Alyzza Valdez, but I’m still 16. I’m still very far from being her level, and I have a lot of things to prove,” said Dongallo.
She revealed that numerous universities in Manila already offered her scholarships, but she is planning to stay with CPS.
According to her, CPS is planning to establish a college department in the future, and she plans to stay there until she graduates from college.
“I want to stay there and play together with my teammates. Our bond as a team is like a family. I’ve been playing and studying at CPS for five years already. We’re together almost 24/7, and I’m already familiar with my teammates and coaches. It’s pretty hard for me to get separated with them,” said Dongallo.
Dongallo is a product of the vaunted Catmon Integrated School volleyball team of teacher/coach Vilma Veloso and her son Zack Veloso.
She finished kindergarten and elementary in Catmon Integrated School. She had her fair share of glory with Veloso’s volleyball team for winning national and regional meets, including the Palarong Pambansa, Governor’s Cup, and Milo Little Olympics.
“Ma’am Vilma Veloso once told me before I enrolled to CPS that it’s better to choose a school without a name rather than a schinl that’s already have a name in the sports. It would be more special if youthat already hasd a name and help it rise to popularity. I chose CPS because I believed that I helped the school build a name in volleyball. All the credits go to Ma’am Vilma and Kuya Zack.”
According to Dongallo, aside from her family, Vilma and Zack Veloso were the few people who believed in her talent.
They didn’t fail to support her and encourage her to play better when she enrolled with CPS.
She also thanked Dr. Obet Vital and Stephani Cholico, who recruited her to CPS. Dongallo also thanked the LGU of Catmon for its unwavering support of its volleyball program.
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