THE YEAR THAT WAS: Philippine Volleyball (Part 3)

Mark Escarlote on Dec 28, 2016 08:15 AM
THE YEAR THAT WAS: Philippine Volleyball (Part 3)
A newcomer made an instant impact in the V-League, the UAAP championship core of De La Salle continued with its magic in the Philippine Superliga while the hosted a prestigious continental club championship in the third quarter of the year.

From crowning new collegiate champions, emergence of new talents, changing of the guards among stars while 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.

 

JULY     

Pocari Sweat captured the V-League Open Conference title.

 

The Air Force Jet Spikers shocked the then unbeaten Cignal by winning two straight games to exact revenge on the HD Spikers, who denied the Jet Spikers the 2015 inaugural Spikers' Turf Reinforced crown, to win the season-opening Open Conference.

The veteran team Air Force made a statement in its return to the V-League after two seasons of absence with the Lady Jet Spikers' breakthrough Finals appearance in the Open Conference.

Superstar Alyssa Valdez celebrated her 23rd birthday with a sweet victory for BaliPure in the Final Four series opener against the Michele Gumabao led Pocari Sweat.

The Lady Warriors equalized in Game 2 before bringing down BaliPure in a dramatic Game 3 to set a championship date with the Lady Jet Spikers.

Grethcel Soltones won her first-ever V-League Most Valuable Player award, edging BaliPure teammate Valdez.

Air Force took the Finals opener but the Lady Warriors clawed its way back from another hole to capture the crown in its first try in the league. BaliPure pocketed the consolation third place.

The Philippines’ U-19 team led by National University’s Jasmine Nabor and University of the East’s Kat Arado, who was named Best Libero, finished fourth in the 19th Princess Cup Southeast Asian Women’s U-19 Championship in Sisaket, Thailand.

The Ateneo Lady Eagles participated in the 18th ASEAN University Games in Singapore and won the bronze medal.

RC Cola-Army’s Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis, Petron’s Jen Reyes and F2 Logistics’ Aby Marano were added to Foton’s lineup for the Asian Women’s Club Championship.

Former De La Salle star Mika Reyes was named Philippine Superliga ambassadress while Daquis got the nod as the country’s face in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics received the third golden ticket followed by Jen Reyes for the fourth, Jaja Santiago of Foton got the fifth while Ces Molina of Petron punched the sixth golden ticket to the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

University of Sto. Tomas’ KR De Guzman was named Beach Volleyball Republic’s King of the Sands.

Mika Reyes got the last golden ticket to the world stage to complete the local lineup of the squad reinforced by seven foreign players. The PSL-F2 Logistics Manila team landed in the “group of death” in the draw.

Dindin Santiago-Manabat gave birth to a baby girl.

V-League opened its 10-team Collegiate Conference.

 

AUGUST

F2 Logistics claimed its first PSL All-Filipino title in three games against Foton. 

 

Ex-Ateneo spiker Fille Cainglet-Cayetano gave birth to her second child.

F2 Logistics conquered the PSL All-Filipino Conference in a dramatic three-game Finals series against Foton. Dawn Macandili of the Cargo Movers became the first libero to win the Most Valuable Player award in the PSL.

Foton tapped Italian coach Fabio Menta as head coach for the Asian Club Championship.

            

SEPTEMBER

National University completed a repeat in the V-League Collegiate league with a clean sweep of Ateneo de Manila.

 

Foton Pilipinas started off its campaign in the Asian Women’s Club Championship on a high note against Hong Kong but dropped its next five games before salvaging a seventh place finish.

Rachel Anne Daquis was named team captain of PSL-F2 Logistics Manila for the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.

Foton sacked Menta as head coach to tap Serbian mentor Moro Branislav.

Jaja Santiago and Aiko Urdas powered National University past Ateneo de Manila in Game 1 of the V-League Collegiate Conference Finals.

Santiago received her first V-League conference MVP award and on the same day led the Lady Bulldogs to back-to-back Collegiate Conference title in a series sweep of the Lady Eagles.

Ateneo de Manila for the second straight season swept its way to the crown of the 2nd Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference.

Alyssa Valdez transferred to a new team, Bureau of Customs, for the V-League Reinforced Conference.

 

  

(to be continued)

 

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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