CEBU CITY, Philippines – Fiesta People/Cebu Institute of Technology-University showed toughness and composure to hand 2019 CESAFI champions Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras with a 2 sets-to-1 win in the Men’s Division opener of the 2020 Mayor Edgardo C. Labella Volleyball Cup at the Cebu City Sports Institute Monday evening, Jan. 6, 2020.
The Fiesta People proved tough customers for the Cobras but its unforced errors cost them the victory in the opening set 23-25.
The Spiking Wildcats recovered from a sloppy first set and we’re off to a strong start in the second set and seemingly heading to a lopsided victory. Instead, they were pushed to the brink before beating the CESAFI champs via 26-24 win.
Fiesta People had a 12-2 lead when the Cobras rallied using a series of service aces, drops and precise spikes to take the lead 22-20.
CIT-U scored the next three points to take back the lead 23-22 and added one more for a set point but could not complete the victory yet as the Cobras forced a slide.
The Fiesta People, however, could not be denied as they scored the next two points to even the game at 1-1.
The deciding set was a dog fight with no team allowing more than a three-point deficit. However, SWU-Phinma slowly lost its steam and yielded the game following a 25-22 decision.
It was a double whammy for SWU as its Women’s team lost to the veteran-laden and Harbor Pilot Squad in two straight sets, 26-24; 25-22.
Harbor Pilot belles showed a strong net defense, tough drops and service aces to frustrate the younger squad.
The University of Cebu Lady Webmasters needed an extra set before subduing the youthful J&J Enterprise 2-1.
The first set was a toughly fought match with J&J winning 26-24. UC came back roaring on the second set as they downed the younger opponents 25-19 to even the game.
UC’s experience finally mattered as they took the deciding set hard for a 25-14 decision to win the match.
While the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) scored a 2-0 win over Team Marias in the other Women’s match.
It was an easy victory for the Lady Panthers in the opening set 25-9 before they were pushed to deuce on the second set 26-24.
Actions will continue this afternoon with J&J playing SWU Lady Cobras in the opening match at 4 PM to be followed by UC vs. USPF and Harbor Pilot vs. Team Maria’s in the Women’s Division.
Fiesta People/CIT-U will play for its second win against the USPF Panthers after the women’s games to be followed by the SWU Cobras against the Sports Yu squad and Mischka playing the UC Webmasters in the main game.
Meanwhile, Cebu City councilor Dondon Hontiveros assured the volleyball players that this tournament is just the start of the more to come.
“This tournament goes to show that we are not just all about basketball. Cebu City is trying to provide an avenue to all our athletes. This (volleyball tournament) is just the start of the many (to come). Hopefully, through this, we can create a commercial tournament so that we can sustain the development of volleyball in Cebu City. It is undeniable that many Cebuanos starred not just in basketball in the country but also in volleyball as well as in other sports. And please bear with us for the moment since our budget for the renovation of the gym (CCSI) has yet to be released. Maybe we can start repairs and renovation by March. Good luck to all and may the best team wins,” Hontiveros told the players during the opening rites.
UAAP Women’s volleyball MVP and SEA Games Beach Volleyball bronze medal winner Cherry Ann “Sisi” Rondina was among the spectators at the bleachers. RCM