TEAM Dasmariñas Monarchs overcame tough odds to come away with a stunning 19-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-17 victory over Go for Gold-Air Force and emerged as the first-ever Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League men’s champions on Saturday night at the Aquamarine Recreational Center.
Aside from winning the gold medal, the Monarchs also nabbed the right to represent the country in the 2022 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Urmia, Iran, from May 15-22.
The Dasmariñas City-based team finished the tournament undefeated in five matches and capped off their campaign with a stunner over a heavily-favored Aguilas side.
“Well, I’m very happy that we are champions against a team composed mostly of national players,” Dasmariñas coach Norman Miguel said. “We’re very proud that we were successful in this tournament. This is our goal.”
The Monarchs were very much in control in the fourth set with setter Cian Silang giving his club an 18-11 cushion on an ace. They were never threatened after that.
Looking like goners in the early goings, the Monarchs rallied from an 11-17 and 20-23 second-set deficit behind Madz Gampong to level the match at one set apiece.
Picking up where they left off in the second set, the Monarchs sustained their solid plays on both ends to post a 2-1 set advantage.
Mark Calado, who led the Monarchs with 18 kills, was named the tournament Most Valuable Player to go with his First Outside Hitter award.
Rosales and Jayvee Sumagaysay were a force to reckon with in the net and combined for 12 of the Monarchs’ 16 blocks in the title clincher.
Team captain Sumagaysay said their conquest is a dream come true.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Sumagaysay, who took home the First Best Middle Blocker award. “Last night, I told my teammates that now that we’re here, we should dream big. We are not here just to compete. We are here to win.”
Gampong added 12 points, while Arnold Bautista was also a solid all-around contributor with 11 points, 16 receptions, and seven digs. Libero Rence Melgar had 12 receptions and 10 digs.
John Vic de Guzman paced Go for Gold with 22 points, while Mark Alfafara chipped in 15 points, including two blocks, and eight receptions.
Also in the Dream Team were Go for Gold’s Alfafara (Second Best Outside Hitter), John Vic de Guzman (Best Opposite Hitter) and Ricky Marcos (Best Libero), VNS Manileño Spikers’ Rwenzmel Taguibolos (Second Best Middle Blocker) and Team Dasmariñas’ Cian Silang (Best Setter).