BAGUIO CITY – The University of the Cordilleras started hot as its two teams topped their respective rivals at the beginning of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association meet beach volleyball competition Friday, Feb. 5, at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.
Rosemar Borlongan and Via dela Cruz overcame a slow start as UC 1 registered a 23-21 victory over Benguet 1, even as UC 2 cruised to a 21-14 win over Baguio City National High School to start their respective bids in the two brackets of four teams each.
“Naunahan lang po ng kalaban pero hindi nawalan ng pagasa,” said dela Cruz after they fell to 0-3 at the start of the game. But the young Jaguars fought to an 18-18 standstill before scoring two more for the match point. Benguet scored two points to even out, 21-21, the last stand it could muster as they committed two errors for the final score.
It was an easier route for UC 2, composed of Vina Adviento and Jingle Egid, as they easily built a 12-6 lead and was never threatened for the victory which saw fog engulfing the court fronting the complex’s swimming pool.
It was an eerie experience for most of the players as the weather softened unlike in the first game when the afternoon heat practically baked the sand court provided by contractor RUA Construction and Development Corp.
“Startegy did it for us,” said the 15 year old Adviento, who felt much cooler than dela Cruz and Borlongan.
Three of the seven local government units fielded teams for the demonstration sport of the 2016 CARAA meet which was held for the second straight year here to showcase the newly rehabilitated sports complex.
“We’re ready to play,” said co-host Cordillera Volleyball Association president Danilo Eduardo after two days of setting up the court which was facilitated by RUA Construction.
The CVA also saw Apayao sending in one team of three players, while Benguet came in with two, while host Baguio has teams from the nearby Baguio City National High School and UC.
The contractor actually provided the sand and the equipment like back hoe, grader and compactor to level out the lot and place the sands.
UC was the first team to make use of the court as they even helped out in ridding the sands of rocks and to even out the court in their eagerness to play and train for the two days competition backed by Baguio Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr.
Games started after the volleyball clinics which the CVA conducted among coaches, referees and players from the region set in the morning until lunch.
The event supported by engineers Bernardo and Jonathan Vergara resumes Saturday afternoon after the opening ceremonies of the CARAA to be held also within the athletic bowl, while the finals will be on the last day of the CARAA on Feb. 10, said CVA secretary general Danny Cong-o.
It will be the launching project of the CVA which replaced the Philippine Volleyball Federation – Cordillera although it recognizes the PVF as its mother organization.
Next month, the CVA is eyeing a national open where Manila and out of town teams will be invited to play. “We really have to work hard to improve not only the level of play but also the abilities of our referees and coaches,” said Cong-o.
By Pigeon Lebien