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By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Friday, December 20, 2019
Catmon volleybelles took home the championship trophy and P100, 000 cash in the revived Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia Unity Volleyball Cup (GUV Cup) against Consolacion with a 3-1 sweep on Thursday, December 19. (Tonee Despojo)

Lady spikers of Catmon emerged as the grand champion in an excitement-filled finals game of the revived Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia Unity Volleyball Cup (GUV Cup) for Women beating Consolacion 3-1, on December 19, 2019 at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex. 

The Consolacion volleybelles actually took the first game, 25-23, before Catmon swept the next three sets, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15 and finished the game with a spike by the season’s Most Valuable Player Casey Monique Dongallo.

Catmon’s win sealed again its winning streak in the previous tournaments of the Guv Cup. They took home the P100,000 winning prize, a medal, trophy and additional P20,000 for winning the Cluster 6 championship round.

Meanwhile, Consolacion took home P50,000 for the second place and additional P20,000 for the Cluster 7 championship round.

Special awards were given to the lady spikers who excelled, namely Iamae Arnaiz of Catmon as Best Server, Ann Camelle Padayogdog of Consolacion as Best Libero, Angelie Marie Bacalso of Talisay City as Best Blocker, Vanessa Lou Miñoza of Consolacion as Best Setter, Mitzi Panangin of Consolacion as Best Spiker (Attacker) and Dongallo as MVP. 

Each special awardee received P2,000 cash, a trophy and medal.

The finals game of the 9th season of the GUV Cup also gathered personalities including Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Sepak Takraw gold medalist Methodio Suico Jr. and Guv Cup alum and SEAG bronze medalist for open beach volleyball Cherry “Sisi” Rondina.

Both athletes encouraged the young athletes to reach for their dreams and never give up on it. 

Rondina, who hails from Compostela, particularly thanked Gov. Garcia for reviving the tournament as it gives the opportunity for young girls in far-flung towns in Cebu to join in the game.

“Siempre nagpapasalamat ako kasi si Gov nakita niya kung gaano ka passionate ang mga players dito sa Cebu,” she said.

“Wag nilang tigilan yung gusto nilang mangyari sa buhay nila. Maglaro sila para sa hugot nila sa buhay. Huwag nilang kalimutan kung saan sila nag start, ‘wag lumaki ang ulo at patuloy mangarap kung nakuha na nila ang gusto nila. At siempre ‘wag kalimutan magpasalamat sa Diyos,” Rondina advised the young athletes. 

SEAG national volleyball coach and University of the Sto. Tomas head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes said the Guv Cup tournament showed that Cebu has a pool of talents that can be tapped for university and national games. 

Reyes and Rondina were in Cebu for a two-day try-out in one of the university’s in the province.

Reyes said they are looking for raw talents as well as enhance what local coaches have already trained and produced here. 

Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles, who also graced the event, promised to bring to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte the return of the Guv Cup and to support the province’ initiative. 

He also said he will ask the help of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for additional funding.