California begins title bid in Shakey’s volleyball

May 29, 2024 People's Tonight 251 views

CALIFORNIA Academy begins its title-retention bid against a dangerous Chiang Kai-shek side in the 2024 Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (SGVIL) unwrapping today at the Adamson University Gym main court.

The Antipolo-based squad braces for a dogfight at 12 p.m. in Pool A while eight other teams, including UAAP champion Adamson University, debut in the action-packed five-game opening playdate of the premier grassroots tournament showcasing the country’s finest high school volleyball programs.

Battling at 8 a.m. are the Lady Baby Falcons against the University of the Philippines Integrated School in Pool D followed by the 10 a.m. Pool A clash between La Salle-Lipa and Bethel Academy.

Last year’s third placer Bacolod Tay Tung sets its redemption tour in motion in a showdown against traditional powerhouse University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m. in Pool C while inaugural edition runner-up Naga College Foundation and La Salle-Zobel cross paths in Pool B at 4 p.m.

Still, all eyes are on California Academy in the tournament backed by Shakey’s Pizz Parlor, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Smart Sports, Mikasa, Team Rebel Sports and Robinsons Malls.

“This (edition) has a very loaded group of teams. They have the best of the best in the UAAP and NCAA, and the top programs from the rest of the Philippines joining this league. So it’s very tough,” California Academy head coach Dr. Obet Vital said.

California Academy reigned supreme in the inaugural edition defeating Naga in four sets in an exciting finale.

But this time, Vital’s team will be missing last year’s Most Valuable Player Casiey Dongallo, Jelaica Gajero, setter Kizzie Madriaga, and libero Grace Fernandez, who have all joined the collegiate ranks.

“As for us, many of our players from last year have already graduated. We have some new players, and then two of our top athletes who are moving on to college will probably be leaving, if ever, after June 4. So, it’s gonna be a tough battle for us,” Vital said.

Adamson will also be a team to watch following its amazing UAAP Season 86 sweep behind power-hitting outside spiker Shaina Nitura, who will be playing her final high school tournament before joining the Lady Falcons.

The 18 teams, expanding from last year’s 16 participants, are divided into four groups namely Potato Corner (Pool A), RnB (Pool B), Peri-Peri (Pool C) and Shakey’s (Pool D) playing in a single-round robin prelims with the top two teams in each bracket advancing in the knockout quarterfinals.

Prelims games will be played in best-of-three sets.

The knockout rounds will all be played in best-of-five sets.

All games in the SGVL, organized by Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc., will air via livestream on Smart Sports, Aliw 23 (free TV), Blast TV (digital regional) and Solar Sports (cable).