By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Cebuanos were treated to top-notch action in last Saturday’s Cebu leg of the 2014 PLDT Home Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference at the University of San Carlos Gymnasium and the organizers and the teams were also given a royal treatment by the fans.
I only managed to get to the venue at around 6 p.m. just shortly after the end of themen’s game won by Cignal over Systema in four sets.
Although, I already had the idea that there would be lots of people watching the games as ringside tickets were wiped out shortly after sales started, it was still a very pleasant surprise when I saw that the USC Gym was bursting on its seams with fans even on the upperbox section.
The women’s game was won by Air Asia over Petron also in a four-setter, but that day was a victory not of the teams alone, but the sport of volleyball.
While I may have tried many sports, volleyball is one of those that I started playing since grade school and later with much more intensity in high school starting on my junior year and later on in college.
It was no surprise that when the Cebu Volleyball Association was organized in the late 1990s, I was among those who heeded the call. I still continue to be part of the CEVA which is now headed by Andrew Choachuy.
Volleyball got a major boost when former Governor Gwen Garcia staged the GUV Cup as it elevated the standard of volleyball in the various towns and component cities of Cebu Province. Also benefitting much from the GUV Cup are the many players who earned scholarships not only in schools and universities here, but also in Manila.
The Philippine Superliga (PSL) has some players from Cebu and I hope to see more of our volleyball stars make it big-time.
I always believe that for a sport to gain much ground in a country, a professional or even just a semi-professional league would be needed so that those who play the sport during their age group and college days would have something to look forward to.
This is now also happening in football.
It will not be an easy road, but I am very happy that the PSL is now around and volleyball has become even more popular in our country.
For those who only recently followed volleyball, Cebu once produced some of the biggest names of the sport, who made a major impact in the national team, which won tournaments abroad.
Among those who have been enshrined into the Cebu Sports Hall of Fame are Thelma Barina, Grace Antigua, Perla Dadula-Janea, Joji Maranga, and the Jao twins – Maria Lourdes Jao-Ramirez and Maria Chona Jao-San Juan.
Ariel Paredes, one of the people responsible for bringing the event here, sent me a text message last Sunday thanking Cebuanos for our support. He said that they would definitely be back and I hope it will happen very soon.
One more thing, do you know that the spike was originally called the Filipino bomb?
Here are some pictures of the women’s game last Saturday at the USC Gym.
The jam-packed crowd at the USC Gym.