California Academy clips inaugural Shakey's Girls title


Posted at Jun 04 2023 07:50 AM

Photo from Shakey's Super League's Facebook page
Photo from Shakey's Super League's Facebook page

MANILA – California Academy needed only four sets to capture the maiden Shakey’s Girl Volleyball Invitational League crown at the expense of Naga College Foundation Saturday. 

California Academy registered a 25-18, 18-25, 25-14, 25-19 victory over Naga at the San Andres Gym in Malate, Manila to top the high school tilt. 

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

Jenalyn Umayam added 13 more points for California Academy, which completed a 5-0 sweep of the competition.

“It wasn’t a perfect game as Naga played really well. We’re glad that in the end, history is 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 mammoth win against reigning UAAP juniors champion National U-Nazareth School in the Final Four for a rousing momentum entering the Last Dance.

As Gajero and Dongallo set the tone in a 25-18 start, Naga refused to go down without a fight behind Arah Ellah Panique to spark a 10-3 start before taking Set 2 with the same score.

Umayam then joined the party, conspiring with Gajero and Dongallo for a lethal troika in their 25-14 dominance in the third set before erasing a 2-5 deficit in the fourth for the clincher.

Panique, who was named as the Best Outside Hitter, posted a game-high 19 points as Nathasza Kaye Bombita added 15 in the valiant runner-up finish of the Parley Tupaz-mentored Naga team, which had to brave long hours of travel every week just to play in Manila.

Dona Mae De Leon (Best Middle Blocker) of Bacolod Tay Tung High School, NU-NS’ IC Cepada (Best Libero) and California’s Kizzie Madriaga (Best Setter) were also named to the Super Team of the tournament.

Earlier, De Leon showed the way with 13 points on 11 hits and two blocks as Bacolod swept NU-NS, 25-14, 25-22, 25-15, to clinch the bronze medal. 

Jothea Marie Ramos chipped in 11 points while Alexia Montoro and Ana Hermosura fired six apiece.

“Malaking bagay na ito. Malaking bagay na ‘yung bronze na maiuuwi namin sa Bacolod,” said coach Ian Macariola.

Kianne Louise Olango, with 16 points, served as the lone bright spot in NU-NS’ rare miss at a podium finish.