Greatest Performance: Joyme Cagande’s 54 excellent sets vs. BanKo in the PVL
Mark Escarlote on May 22, 2020 03:43 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
We have yet to see how National University’s young setter Joyme Cagande would fare in the UAAP.
Her first year with the Lady Bulldogs in Season 81 ended after just three sets following a left knee injury during her debut.
What should’ve been her chance for redemption this year never came as she injured her right knee as NU was preparing for Season 82, which was eventually cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Such an unfortunate fate for a young talent.
But before she made her debut in the UAAP, many considered Cagande as the next big playmaker especially with her impressive credentials in high school.
Cagande won four high school titles with the NU School of Nazareth and was named Best Setter from Season 78 to 80.
In 2018, fans got a glimpse of her potential playing with the big girls when she, together with her high school teammates, joined five Lady Bulldogs and American imports Janisa Johnson and Alexis Matthews in BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference.
And she did not disappoint in her first commercial league.
Cagande averaged 8.3 excellent sets per game during the eliminations, outshining big name veterans Jia Morado (7.58) of Creamline and PayMaya’s Jasmine Nabor (6.35), who was NU’s starting setter the previous UAAP season.
“Challenging siya kasi especially may imports. Iba kasi yung speed ng import, iba yung height ng import so kailangan talaga nandoon ang dedication mo para makuha ang eksaktong set for them,” said Cagande, daughter of Philippine Star senior photographer Joven.
But her best performance came in the Water Defenders’ fourth game in the tournament.
Pitted against a veteran-laden BanKo side led by multi-awarded setter Jem Ferrer, Cagande held her ground.
Cagande dazzled with her superb playmaking in the Water Defenders, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, win on May 23, 2018 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
She posted 54 excellent sets that helped BaliPure hammer down 66 attack points including 26 from Johnson, who closed the game with 30 points.
The then team captain, who added two points, had 44% efficiency in her setting that game to outplay Ferrer, who got 27 excellent sets in 68 tries.
Cagande topped her elims output with a better average in the next round. She averaged 10.5 excellent sets per frame in the round-robin quarterfinals.
Cagande even duplicated her career-best in a five-set defeat at the hands of Pocari Sweat-Air Force.
She had 54-of-167 excellent sets on June 20, 2018 in a lost cause, 27-29, 25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 13-15.
However, Cagande bested Wendy Semana, who had 42 excellent sets that game.
Three outings before that, Cagande registered 50 excellent sets in a win over Iriga.
Unfortunately, the Water Defenders came up short of advancing to the semifinals and Cagande missed her chance to vie for the Best Setter award which was eventually awarded to Morado.
Cagande’s stint in the PVL boosted her stock heading into the UAAP.
Expectations were high for the young blood.
But fate played a cruel trick on her.
Cagande suffered a high grade anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear on her left knee in the third set of the Lady Bulldogs’ debut match against Far Eastern University, which won the match in four sets.
And just when she thought she could return for Season 82, Cagande again sustained an ACL injury on her right knee in a tune-up match against College of St. Benilde December last year.
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