July 6, 2008 (Sunday) at the Rizal Technological (RTU) gymnasium. The PVF National Open 2008 has ended with a bang. The Philippine Air Force (Men’s) and Philippine Army (Women’s) reigned supreme during the tournament. Along with the afternoon heat was the air of excitement and anticipation of what would happen as the four finalists battle it out for the prestige of being the National Open champions.
Earlier, the Philippine Army Men’s Team bagged the 2nd Runner up trophy by beating the Philippine Navy team in three straight sets. Too bad I wasn’t able to catch this game. On the women’s division, it was the 2nd Runner up match between RP Youth and Philippine Air Force (women’s) Team. The more experienced ladies of the team Air Force prevailed in three straight sets.
Women’s Finals: An all-star game everyone has long been looking for
Tension filled the RTU gymnasium as both teams started to warm-up for the championship match. This match was highly anticipated since both teams boast of veteran volleyball players. You have volleyball living legends like Joan Botor-Carpio, Ces Tabuena, Michelle Laborte, and Michelle Carolino to name a few. You also have very promising volleybelles like Sang Laguilles, Beverly Boto, Mary Jean Balse, and Dahlia Cruz. It was an all-star women’s volleyball match-up simply put.
Joan Bunag and Mary Jean Balse of team Philippine Army provided most of offense for their team. On the other hand, it was veteran Micmic Laborte who led her team’s defensive onslaught with her impeccable blocking. Philippine Army setter Botor-Carpio showed versatility as she did some serious spiking herself. Being an all-around player, Sang Laguilles made excellent digs and made some excellent quick plays together with teammate Beverly Boto. The famous Carolino sisters (Mayette and Michelle) also performed well during the match with their hard-hitting spikes.
There were two controversial calls made by the referees. People watching the game live roared in disbelief. But this seemed to have made the match even more exciting. The second set ended at 29-27 in favor of team Philippine Army to even the match at 1 set a piece. In the end, the team Philippine Army emerged as the champions.
Men’s Finals: The veterans versus the newbies
The defending champions team Philippine Air Force declared war against the newbie team Klownz as they played for the men’s volleyball championship title for the 2008 National Volleyball Open (organized by the Philippine Volleyball Federation – PVF). Jessie Lopez of team Air Force performed his setting game consistently as expected. He made kills out of his timely drop shots and occasional regalo spikes. His teammate Verayo(#2) performed flawlessly as he hammered the other side of the court with his powerful spikes.
As for team Klownz, they relied on Allen Mendoza, Labide and Gavino as they tried to survive the game. It seemed their opponents were unstoppable. Team Klownz suffered the absence of Canlas, one of their key players.
Alinsunurin (#9) of team Air Force provided amazing back row attacks. Merza (#13) and Dacurong (#7) also contributed significant points for team Air Force. Mendoza of team Klownz was spiking it hard all throughout the game to anchor his team. But the Air Force was just outplaying them. The Philippine Air Force has successfully retained their championship title as they defeated team Klownz in three straight sets.
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