By Raymart Escopel
ILOILO City – After four days of tough battle in the volleyball arena, St. John Institute (SJI), a team from Bacolod City, was declared as the champion in the Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League (SGVL) Season 12 Western Visayas leg.
Held at the Iloilo Doctor’s College Gym last July 22-25, the SGVL Season 12 showcased the best girls’ volleyball teams from Western Visayas. Three teams from Bacolod and seven teams from Iloilo vied to qualify for the national finals, which will be held on January 4 to 9, 2015 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The teams from Bacolod include University of St. La Salle (USLS), Living Stone International School (LSIS) and the leg’s champion, St. John’s Institute.
Meanwhile, the teams from Iloilo were Dumangas National High School (DNHS), St. Joseph School (SJS), University of San Agustin (USA), Roberto H. Tirol National High School (RHTNHS), St. Robert’s International Academy, Sun Yat Sen High School, and Central Philippine University (CPU), last year’s champion.
SGVL Tournament Director Johanz Buenvenida said that for each regional leg, only 10 teams were selected and allowed to compete. This ensures that only the cream of the crop is enlisted, as well as to raise the level of adrenalin brought by the competition.
For his part, SGVL Season 12 Western Visayas Regional Coordinator Dr. Roberto Lozada noted that with the highly competitive teams, they hope that the winner of the Western Visayas leg will still shine in the national finals as the representative of the region always belongs to the top four of the tournament.
For this year, the seven regional champions will be joined by four foreign teams from Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, and Bangladesh in the League of Champions, the SGVL national finals.
Moreover, Buenvenida noted that the winning team for the regional legs will not purely represent the region. Instead, the coach of the winning team has the luxury to choose the best players among other teams that joined the regional leg. They will then compose the regional team, which will represent in the League of Champions.
The tournament’s Northern Mindanao leg was held last July 8 to 11, while other regional legs will be held in Southern Mindanao on August 11 to 14, in Central and Eastern Visayas on August 19 to 23, in Nothern and Central Luzon on September 16-19, in National Capital Region on November 22 to 23, 29 to 30 and December 6 to 7, and in Southern Luzon on November 25 to 28./PN