Home Sports New-look California Academy begins Shakey’s Girls title defense

New-look California Academy begins Shakey’s Girls title defense

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California Academy Shakey's Girls V-League

FILE–California Academy players during the Shakey’s Girls Invitational. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — California Academy begins its title defense in the 2024 Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (SGVIL) against Chiang-Kai-shek on Wednesday at Adamson University Gym main court.

California Academy, which dominated last year’s competition beating Naga College Foundation in the final, begins its life without Casiey Dongallo, who had a stellar rookie season with the University of the East in the UAAP, as well as Jelaica Gajero, setter Kizzie Madriaga, and libero Grace Fernandez.

The Antipolo-based school is slated in Pool A, opening its campaign against Chiang Kai-shek at noon as one of the five exciting games in the GVIL opener.

READ: UAAP: Casiey Dongallo ‘humbled’ by Alyssa Valdez

“From the first team to the 18th team, they’re very good, very experienced. Every team here has lots of exposure. I know they’ve played a lot of leagues,” said California coach Dr. Obet Vital, who also called the shots for UE in Season 86. “As for us, we graduated many of our players. We have some new players and two of our top athletes, who are moving on to college probably will be leaving. It’s gonna be a tough battle for us. The girls will try to do their best, especially to the seniors moving on to college.”

Dongallo, who has a right arm injury that made her miss the opportunity to play for Alas Pilipinas in the AVC Challenge Cup, still graced the league’s press conference at Robinsons Galleria on Monday, sharing a piece of advice to the high school players.

Former UAAP rookie MVP Angel Canino of La Salle and other current volleyball stars like PVL MVP Sisi Rondina of Choco Mucho also sent video messages to wish the participants good luck.

Also seeing action in Pool A are La Salle-Lipa and Bethen Academy, who are clashing at 10 a.m. Lyceum is also part of their group. 

UAAP girls’ champion Adamson, which is expected to play MVP Shaina Nitura sparingly as she graduates from high school on June 20, banners Pool D. Adamson opens its campaign against University of the Philippines Integrated School at 8 a.m. Its UAAP rival National University Nazareth School is also part of their group with Holy Rosary College.

READ: California Academy seniors gain fulfillment after title win in final game

Last year’s runner-up Naga, which will begin life without UAAP champion and Alas Pilipinas member Arah Panique, headlines Pool B and will battle La Salle-Zobel at 4 p.m. The GVIL silver medalists also take on Far Eastern University, Arellano, and Emilio Aguinaldo College in the preliminary round 

Bronze medalist and Palarong Pambansa champion Bacolod Tay Tung is a title favorite, kicking off its Pool B campaign against the traditional powerhouse University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m. Also part of their group are Kings Montessori and the University of Perpetual Help.

GVIL has expanded from 16 teams to 18 as the top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout quarterfinals.

All the preliminary games will be played in best-of-three sets. The knockout rounds will all be played in best-of-five sets.



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“We are so grateful that we have the support of the elite, the best high school teams in the country, not just in Manila, the cities and provinces,” said league president Dr. Ian Laurel. “And like what we’ve promised, year in and year out, we will give you a very well organized challenging, and the best high school tournament that you will have.”





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