SAINT John Institute and Central Philippine U (CPU) swept their respective divisions to lead the Final Four cast in the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball League which unwrapped its 13th season with the Western Visayas leg at the Iloilo Doctors’ College gym in Iloilo City on Tuesday.
The SJI spikers toppled St. Joseph School, 25-19, 25-13; Roberto H. Tirol National High, 25-20, 25-14; Univ. of St. La Salle (USLS), 25-20, 25-16; and St. Robert’s Int’l Academy, 25-12, 25-15, to top Pool A of the two-division tournament, the first of nine regional elims leading to the national finals set in October.
CPU, on the other hand, disposed of Bacolod Tay Tung High, 25-17, 25-19; Sun Yat Sen High, 25-19, 25-9; San Joaquin School of Fisheries, 25-15, 25-21; and Living Stones Int’l School, 25-10, 25-10, to dominate Pool B of the event, the country’s premier league put up Shakey’s for the leading private and public school girls’ volley teams.
St. Joseph School and Living Stones IS scored three wins against a loss each to finish second to SJI and CPU, respectively, and advance to the crossover semis of the league that has produced the current cream of the crop, headed by Alyssa Valdez, Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo, Abby Maraño, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Ennajie Laure and Jovelyn Gonzaga.
St. Joseph repulsed Roberto H. Tirol National High, 25-23, 12-25, 25-18; Univ. of St. La Salle, 25-21, 21-25, 25-13; and St. Robert’s Int’l Academy, 25-18, 25-19, but bowed to SJI; while Living Stones IS edged Sun Yat Sen HS, 25-22, 26-24; San Joaquin, 25-21, 25-20; and Bacolod Tay Tung HS, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21; but succumbed to CPU.
USLS wound up with a 2-2 card while Robert Tirol NHS and St. Robert’s IA ended up with 1-3 and 0-4 cards, respectively, in Pool A while Bacolod Tay Tung HS, Sun Yat Sen and San Joaquin closed out with identical 1-3 marks in Pool B of the event dubbed as the breeding ground of tomorrow’s volleyball luminaries and backed by Asics, Mikasa, Iloilo Doctors’ College and My Phone.
“The past 12 seasons, the league has brought forth the development of volleyball into a more competitive level thereby inspiring more and more players to step up and improve their skills,” said Freddie Infante of the organizing Metro Sports. “With some innovations, this year’s staging will surely raise the level of competition.”
To accommodate as many teams as possible and select the best teams from among the crop, organizers have put up three regional elims featuring three legs each with the Northern Mindanao elims set next on August 4 to 7 in Dapitan City followed by the Central Visayas regionals on Aug. 13-16 in Cebu.
The NCR elims will be held August 22 to 27 at the Ynares Sports Arena to be followed by the Northern Mindanao leg on August 28 to 31 in Cagayan de Oro City; Eastern Visayas on Sept. 3-6 in Tacloban City; Northern Luzon on September 8 to 11 in Angeles City; Southern Mindanao on September 14 to18 in Tagum City; and Southern Luzon on September 23 to 26 in Biñan City.
The nine regional winners, plus a team from the host city (Biña) will clash for the championship and the lone berth in the first-ever Shakey’s GVL International Championship which will feature five foreign teams, according to Metro Sports’ and tournament director Johanz Buenvenida.