California Academy and Naga College Foundation arranged a title showdown after pulling off huge upsets in their Final Four assignments in the 2023 Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League at the San Andres Gym on Saturday.
The Antipolo-based California Academy pulled off the biggest upset of the day after defeating the reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines juniors champion National University-Nazareth School, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 27-25, behind the duo of Casiey Dongallo and Gelaica Gajero.
Dongallo led the way for the California spikers with 27 points while Gajero added 24 markers.
Jenalyn Umayam posted 10 points while playmaker Kizzie Madriago tallied 21 sets in California’s come-from-behind win including an amazing fightback in the fourth set from 21-24 down.
“It’s a big win for us. It’s a close match and could have been anybody’s game but the girls stayed calm and in control. This Shakey’s GVIL features the best of the Philippines, so we’re happy that we’re able to beat the best of UAAP. We’re very proud of that,” said California Academy coach Obet Vital.
On the other hand, Naga claimed the scalp of Bacolod Tay Tung High School, 11-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23, in the gigantic Final Four clash among unbeaten teams.
The Bicolanas relied on the crisp hitting of Arah Ellah Panique with 27 points while Sheena Sarie and Nathasza Bombita, had 15 and 12 points, respectively.
“Another lucky break for us. We had a bad start but we were able to fight back. It was a difficult battle. I just told them not to give up,” Naga coach Parley Tupaz said.
“After we equalized, I told them to go all the way. Thankfully, the breaks of the game went our way.”
California Academy and Naga will slug it out in the one-game championship next Saturday for all the marbles.