USJ-R Baby Jaguars take Cesafi boys, girls volleyball champion crowns in one night
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars asserted their dominance in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) high school volleyball tournament after winning both the boys and girls divisions in one night.
The Baby Jaguars of multi-titled coach Roldan Potot achieved a rare feat after sweeping the titles in both divisions on Sunday evening, December 3, 2023, at the University of San Carlos (USC) Main Campus gymnasium.
Hard earned wins for USJ-R Baby Jaguars
Potot wrapped up his marvelous evening with a hard-earned win from his boys spikers who outlasted the equally-determined University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters in four grueling sets, 25-17, 25-23, 25-27, and 29-27.
Before that, Potot’s girls’ squad dethroned the defending champions, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles 25-16, 25-20, and 25-23, in their own championship match.
However, Potot isn’t new to winning two titles simultaneously. A decade ago, Potot first won both boy’s and girls volleyball titles in Cesafi, exactly on October 10, 2013, according to him.
Incidentally, that happened at the same playing venue, the USC Main Campus gymnasium.
USJ-R Baby Jaguars game plan
“I’m so happy right now kay naminaw gyud ang mga bata sa executions sa among game plan. I thank God that in my 32 years of coaching volleyball with San Jose, at least nakaback-to-back titles ko sa boys and girls twice na,” Potot said.
(I’m so happy right now because the kids listened on the executions of our game plan. I thank God that in my 32 years of coaching volleyball with San Jose, at least, we achieve having back-to-back titles for the boys and girls twice already.)
“Sa previous seasons, pirmi namo masplit either ang boys and girls or men’s and women’s. Last year, sa boys bronze ra mi. Karon, thankful kaayo ko sa akong mga players for being very responsive sa among game plan. Ilaha gyud giduwa ang gusto namo nga duwa. Ako pud pasalamatan sila for their humility in every match.”
(In previous seasons, we always have a split either between the boys and girls or men’s and women’s. Last year, in boys, we only reached bronze. Now, We are thankful to our players for being responsive to our game plan. They really played what game they wanted to play. I am also grateful for their humility in every match.)
How the USJ-R Baby Jaguars won
During their match against UC, they easily won the first set, 25-17, but the latter caught up in the succeeding sets, with USJ-R barely winning the second set.
According to Potot, his boys were already excited to win the titles and somewhat rushed every possession they had during the third set which resulted to UC winning it, 27-25.
In the pivotal fourth set, both teams had a back-and-forth battle resulting to multiple lead changes and ties with UC leading by seven, 20-13, midway.
However, USJ-R crawled back from the huge deficits, banking on the brillance of “Most Valuable Player” Marc Lemuel Tangon and “Best first open spiker” Ralph Arvi Tan’s offensive to turn the seven-point deficit to a 27-all deadlock.
USJ-R then successfully blocked UC’s attack to get ahead for the match point, 28-27, and went on to score the set point, 29-27, and seal their victory.
Besides Tangon and Tan, two other Jaguars bagged individual awards in Irish Czar Viran (best opposite spiker) and Augustin Benedict Manugas (best first middle blocker).
Rest of Cesafi High School volleyball awardees
The rest of the awardees were from UC’s Emman Roda (best first open spiker), and USPF’s Vennie Paul Ceballos (best first setter), Charles Kenyon Emboy (best second setter), and Karl Corrigedor (best second middle blocker).
After accomplishing his mission in high school, Potot sets his eyes to defend their women’s division title for a three-peat.
“I’m very confident that my women’s team bisan nga ang other teams nagdouble-time gyud sila og trabaho para maprevent mi makathree-peat. We may lose to UC sa elimination round, pero ako sila giingnan akong mga players nga mas importante ang semifinals,” said Potot.
(I am very confident that my women’s team even if the other teams are working double time to prevent that we can achieve a three-peat. We may lose to UC in the elimination round, but I told them, the players, that the semifinals are more important.)
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