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Tiebreaker Times


Gajero, Dongallo tow California Academy to top of SGVIL

California Academy emerged as the victor in the inaugural Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (GVIL), defeating Naga College Foundation with a 25-18, 18-25, 25-14, 25-19 win on Saturday night at San Andres Gym in Malate, Manila.

Jelaica Gajero, the Best Opposite Spiker, scored 18 points, while Most Valuable Player Casiey Dongallo hammered 17, proving to be an unstoppable duo in the perfect championship run of the Antipolo City-based squad.

Jenalyn Umayam added 13 points for California Academy, which completed a 5-0 sweep of the historic high school tournament supported by Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, Potato Corner, Peri-Peri, and R&B Tea, with the City of Manila as a government cooperation partner.

“It wasn’t a perfect game as Naga played really well. We’re glad that, in the end, history was made and the girls won the first Shakey’s GVIL. We’re proud of that,” said coach Obet Vital.

California Academy’s impressive campaign included a massive win against the reigning UAAP girls’ champion, National U-Nazareth School, in the Final Four, providing them with a rousing momentum entering the Last Dance.

However, the road to the summit was not easy, as the California Academy spikers faced a tough challenge from the resilient Naga side.

With Gajero and Dongallo setting the tone with a 25-18 start, Naga refused to go down without a fight, led by Arah Panique, sparking a 10-3 run to equalize with a similar score of 25-18.

Umayam then joined the party, teaming up with Gajero and Dongallo for a lethal trio in their 25-14 domination in the third set, before overcoming a 2-5 deficit in the fourth set to clinch the victory.

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Panique, the Best Outside Hitter, recorded a game-high 19 points, while Nathasza Bombita added 15 in the valiant runner-up finish of the Naga team, coached by Parley Tupaz, who had to endure long hours of travel every week just to compete.

Dona Mae De Leon of Bacolod Tay Tung High School (Best Middle Blocker), NUNS’ IC Cepada (Best Libero), and California’s Kizzie Madriaga (Best Setter) were also named to the Super Team of the tournament, powered by Mikasa, Team Rebel Sports, Toby’s Sports, Genius Sports, SM Tickets, and Summit Natural Drinking Water.

All games of the Shakey’s GVIL, in partnership with Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc. (ACES), are accessible on all social media platforms, courtesy of Plus Network, with CNN Philippines, Solar Sports, and Tap Sports as TV partners.

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