THE YEAR THAT WAS: Philippine Volleyball (Part 2)

Mark Escarlote on Dec 26, 2016 03:53 AM
THE YEAR THAT WAS: Philippine Volleyball (Part 2)
The second quarter of 2016 turned out to be the most exciting and emotional part in Philippine volleyball for the year that was.

From the crowning of new collegiate champions, the emergence of new talents, changing of the guards among stars to some closing their colorful careers to stints in the international stage, 2016 truly was a remarkable year for Philippine volleyball.

From triumphs and jubilations to heartbreaking defeats and much-talked about controversies, the past year showed the elevation the sport's popularity to a whole new level rivaling that of basketball in this hoop-crazy nation.

ABS-CBN Sports takes a look back at the year that was in volleyball.

 

APRIL

 

Kim Fajardo of De La Salle and Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo de Manila shared an emotional moment during the UAAP Season 78 Finals Game 3. 

 

The month opened with a shocker when Philips Gold announced its transfer from the Philippine Superliga to rival V-League (link) after two seasons. The team changed its name to Pocari Sweat.

In the Palarong Pambansa held in Legazpi City in Albay, the Big City bets made a golden double in the secondary boys and girls volleyball competition as the National Capital Region copped its 12th straight overall title. 

Returning RC Cola-Army claimed its fourth title in the PSL after downing Thai team Est Cola in the Invitational Cup Finals.

Far Eastern University secured the third Final Four berth to join early semifinalists Ateneo de Manila and De La Salle.

Alyssa Valdez and the Lady Eagles after a few weeks of wait got back at DLSU in the second round of the UAAP women’s volleyball elimination round in a thrilling five-set match win to secure the Final Four top seeding.

University of the Philippines head coach Jerry Yee celebrated the birth of his first child by steering the Lady Maroons to at least a playoff for a slot in the semis by eliminating University of Sto. Tomas.         

After bearing the burden of 58 straight losses – a total of 4 fruitless seasons – the University of the East Lady Warriors finally ended the long drought by sweeping the free-falling Adamson Lady Falcons.

The Lady Archers closed the elims by booting National University out of the Final Four race and gifting UP a slot in the semifinals.

Luck rolled on Foton’s way during the AVC Asian Club Women’s Championship draw to join Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Fil-American Alexa Micek and Charo Soriano turned up the heat in Boracay to win their third leg title in the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour.

The Blue Eagles booked its third Finals appearance in a row by eliminating UP while National University punched another crack for the crown against Ateneo by showing Adamson the exit door in two games.

Ateneo advanced to its fifth straight women’s championship stint by making a quick work of UP.

The Lady Tamaraws scored a major upset in the first game of the Final Four against the Lady Spikers. But DLSU regrouped in the decider for a return ticket to their eighth straight Finals appearance.

Ateneo drew closer to its second straight men’s crown with a four-set win over NU in Game 1.

The Lady Spikers made a stunning Game 1 win by sweeping the Lady Eagles to open their best-of-three championship series.

Blue Eagle Marck Espejo won his third straight UAAP Most Valuable Player award before eventually leading Ateneo to a back-to-back reign on the throne in a series sweep of NU.

Alyssa Valdez proved to be the queen of UAAP volleyball for the third straight season by bagging another MVP award. To cap her day, Valdez dropped 34 points to help the Lady Eagles force a series decider with a five-set win in Game 2.

DLSU exacted revenge of Ateneo by bagging its ninth UAAP women’s volleyball crown and giving their five outgoing players including Mika Reyes, Ara Galang and Cyd Demecillo a fitting farewell.

 

MAY

Bea Tan and Fiola Ceballos ruled the Beach Volleyball Republic national Finals. 

 

Valdez shared the UAAP Season 78 Athlete of the Year award with Rio Olympian Ian Lariba, swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna and softball player Queeny Sabobo. 

The V-League signed a deal with ABS-CBN S+A as broadcast partner for the first time and the 13-year-old league opened its season with the staging of the Open Conference.

Bea Tan and Fiola Ceballos captured the BVR on Tour national title.  

Former De La Salle star hitter Ara Galang was picked first overall during the PSL Draft.

Veterans Jovelyn Gonzaga and Nene Bautista won the PSL beach volleyball crown.

 

JUNE

Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis of RC Cola-Army were the first two players given the golden ticket for the FIVB Women's Club World Championship.

 

The Brazilian tandem of Mimi Amaral and Bruna Figueredo swept their way into ruling the Beach Volleyball Republic Invitational in Cagayan.

Valdez after a long rest since the UAAP Finals, debuted for BaliPure in the V-League dropping 26 points.

The PSL opened its third staging of the All-Filipino Conference.

Valdez held her first-ever Grand Fans Day in Pasig City Sports Center.

RC Cola-Army veterans Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga received the first two golden tickets reserved for seven local players that will see action in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

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