Earl Fernando

Region IV-A was more than ready to get back to the championships once again, and on April 29, the Heroes made sure they would not go unnoticed.

Team CALABARZON served strong note of its title bid as it crushed BARMM in straight-set fashion, 25-7, 25-15, on the first day of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa Women’s Volleyball-Secondary level competitions at the UP Mindanao Sports Complex in Davao City, Monday.

The 2017 titlists took their first step to redemption after they lost the throne to the National Capital Region last year, with both its veterans and fresh acquisitions coming in line early to crush BARMM for the emphatic win in Day 1 of the Group Stage.

Ace spiker Lency Duarte had a game-high of seven points on four aces and three kills while IV-A newcomer Janeth Dulang had six points as CALABARZON turned to its freshies for the work in the second set, dominating BARMM in the kills department at 12-6 in closing out the sixth game of the day.

IV-A head coach Lerma Giron, however, pointed out that the team still committed jitters and that it was yet to be a top-notch game for the young CALABARZON squad.

Iyong first game jitters, siguro dahil most of them ay first time mag-Palaro so ‘yung iba sa kanila kabado,” Giron said about the team’s performance on the first day. “So pinagbibigyan ko muna sila sa laro na’ to.”

Basta hindi iyon ang laro nila eh; ang laro nila ay mas mabilis, mas kalmado, pero ngayon dahil nga first time mag-Palaro, ‘yung beginner attitude nandoon pa rin.”

Still, the second-time head coach said that the team should prepare most for the bigger foes, especially against its arch rival in NCR.

“Lagi ko ring sinasabi sa kanila, ang kailangan nating paghandaan ay iyong pinakamabigat na kalaban.”

CALABARZON now holds a 1-0 record in Group B, along with Mindanao powerhouse Davao as the latter beat Zamboanga Peninsula in straight sets earlier in the day.

IV-A lost its crown to the gritty NCR volleyballs in last year’s finals in a grueling five-setter in Ilocos, which broke the hearts of hundreds of CALABARZON fans during the bout in Vigan.