Bacolod and NU advance to Final Four of Shakey’s Girls Volleyball

BACOLOD Tay Tung High School and National University-Nazareth School (NU-NS) extend their perfect runs with hard-earned victories against gritty counterparts to barge into the Final Four of the 2023 Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League (GVIL) Sunday at the San Andres Gym in Manila.

Bacolod needed everything it got to tame University of Santo Tomas (UST), 25-22, 25-23, as NU-NS hacked out a 25-15-25-18 win over Far Eastern University-Diliman in the first set of the quarterfinal pairings.

Both squads were dominant in the sweep of their respective groups but met strong resistance this time in the knockout playoffs of the 16-team GVIL backed by Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, Potato Corner, Peri-Peri and R&B Tea with the City of Manila as government cooperation partner.

Bacolod spikers encountered the bigger challenge as they trailed in both sets against the raging Junior Golden Tigresses before showing steely resolve behind Alexia Marie Montoro’s 11 points.

Jothea Marie Ramos and Mary Bontia contributed nine markers each as Bacolod, which topped Pool B, erased a 10-16 deficit in the second set to fend off UST, the No. 2 seed from Pool D.

Earlier, Yesha Noceja and Celine Marsh hammered 12 and 10 points, respectively, as the Lady Bullpups shrugged off a shaky start to live up to expectations so far as the team to beat in the tourney also powered by Mikasa, Team Rebel Sports, Toby’s Sports, Genius Sports and SM Tickets.

Kianne Louise Olango, who spearheaded their blowout wins in Pool A against University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, La Salle Lipa and Gracel Christian College Foundation, added six for the reigning UAAP juniors champion.

NU-NS will face the winner between Pool C leader California Academy and Pool B second seed Adamson while Bacolod clashes against either Pool D pacer Naga College Foundation or Pool A’s No. 2 team in De La Salle University Lipa.

The said four teams were still playing as of press time in their own quarterfinal duels to complete the Final Four cast.

All games of Shakey’s GVIL, in partnership with Athletic Events and Sports Management, Inc., (ACES), will be broadcasted live and on-demand through all social media platforms courtesy of Plus Network with CNN Philippines, Solar Sports and Tap Sports as TV partners. — John Bryan Ulanday