Dasmarinas’ character was put to the test on Friday night.
Facing a tough VNS squad in the do-or-die semifinals, the Monarchs played without their head coach Norman Miguel, who was put into isolation for breaking health protocols.
Still, the Dasmarinas-based spikers soldiered on.
With team captain Jayvee Sumagaysay and up-and-coming spiker Mark Calado leading the way, Team Dasma averted a late collapse and survived VNS’ tough stand in five sets, 25-20, 30-28, 20-25, 21-25, 18-16 to enter the finals of the PNVF Champions League.
“Nanalo kami ng two sets tapos nahabol kami ng two sets so yun yung time na nawawala na yung composure ng bawat isa e,” said Sumagaysay.
“‘Pag dating ng fifth set sabi ko sa kanila ‘wag nating hayaan na dito matapos yung gusto nating kwento, na yung goal natin focus pa rin tao doon.”
For Sumagaysay, who provided the much-needed leadership for Team Dasma, the team’s strong bond played a huge role in the turnaround.
“Tapos ayun sabi ko naman na kahit wala sila coach ‘di naman yung coaches ang maglalaro e, guide lang sila kami pa rin yung magpeperform on the court e. So sabi ko sa kanila, as team captain, sabi ko na wala na tayong ibang kakapitan dito kundi yung isa’t isa na lang,” he added.
Now a game away from securing the first-ever Champions League title, Sumagaysay, who joined the league hoping to face his former peers in the National team, is holding some extra motivation prior to the finale.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila as a former member of the 2019 national team, ang pinunta ko talaga sa ligang ‘to is makalaban talaga yung mga naging kakampi ko,” said Sumagaysay.
“Sabi ko sa kanila yun yung goal ko kaya ako sumama sa liga na ‘to and ito na yung pinaghahandaan namin. Hindi namin isusuko ‘to hanggang dulo, one more win na lang ang hinahabol namin dito hindi one more game. One more win,” he added.
The Monarchs will go up against the Aguilas in the Champions League final tomorrow at 4:00 PM.