November 24, 2021

California Acad stuns Petro Gazz in PNVF Champions League

LIPA CITY--California Precision Sports (CPS) produced the biggest upset in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League with a 18-25, 12-15, 25-22, 25-14, 15-13 squeaker over Petro Gazz on Wednesday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center.

Casiey Dongallo and Jelai Gajero scored 22 points each as the Antipolo-based CPS capped its well-praised participation in the tournament with a 2-3 won-lost card--a major accomplishment for a bunch of senior high school standouts who were just too good to be true.

Despite the tremendous odds of having to face the country's top professional teams, CPS came well prepared and wasn't in the tournament not as a mere participant.

"Every game is a championship game. We can't treat it as if there's nothing. We need to leave everything on the floor because it is our last game," said skipper Kizzie Madriaga, who had 13 digs and 13 excellent sets.

The 16-year-old Dongallo, who hails from Catmon, Cebu, ended her stint with a league-best 95 points.

"Compared to outside hitters like Ate Kalei [Mau]...compared to her and the others, they have a better percentage than me," Dongallo said. "But if I will get the award, thank you."

Gajero was also impressive on both ends on the floor and collected 19 digs and 15 receptions.

A solid single block on Myla Pablo, Gajero's second in the match, gave CPS a 10-6 cushion in the fifth set--proof that she has what it takes to become one of the players to watch in the future.

"I'm just trying my best. Our opponents are professional players, so I have to battle it out not only in hitting," the 17-year old Gajero said. "I need to help in passing for the team to have a great offense and helping in floor defense."

The Angels were headed for a shutout win after leading 22-19 in the third when Dongallo and Gajero displayed a "never quit" attitude to carry coach Jerry Yee's side to victory.

The loss--the second in four matches--put Petro Gazz in a do-or-die game with the Tuguegarao Perlas Spikers for the bronze medal at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Ces Molina had 22 points, including three blocks, while Grethcel Soltones added 14 points, three blocks, 21 receptions, and 11 digs for the Angels.