The Southwestern University Phinma Cobras claimed their third consecutive Cesafi championship, after eking out a 24-26, 25-17, 25-21, 25-18 victory against the University of San Carlos Warriors in Men’s Volleyball Game 2 of the best-of-three finals series, yesterday, November 23 at the USPF Gymnasium.
Mac Canumay led SWU’s offensive attack with 16 points built on 12 spikes, two blocks, and aces while Raul Consad listed 13 pts, highlighting his five service aces. Rafol Sico also posted 12 pts, with Nilo Jasmin chipping in eight attacks and five blocks.
But it was the four-peat season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Cobras’ playmaker, Mark Kevin Petancio who carried the team to its glory, tallying five points in the said match.
“I’m so happy that all of our efforts and sacrifices paid off, and thankful for the support that we received from the Cobras community since day 1 until now,” Petancio, who bagged his first MVP award when he was still with University of San Jose Recoletos, said in the local dialect.
USC’s net defense and error-plagued cobras, with nine errors, made the warriors secure the set advantage in the opening salvo.
Meanwhile, it is the Jasmin-Consad tandem that downed the warriors in the second frame with an eight-point advantage, 25-17.
“Actually, it’s challenging on my part since almost all of my first six players right now, who are performing well, will be graduating and I just hope that a lot of players will try out for our school [SWU],” Cobras head coach, Ray Acojedo said when asked about the team’s star players who played their last game in Cesafi.
Sico built up the momentum for the Cobras as he exploded six powerful spikes in the last frame of the match, while Warrior’s consecutive net and service errors sealed the game and gave the SWU its three-peat championship goal.
“We didn’t expect na we will reach this far, because we lost our first three games in the elimination round but after that, we were able to recover and even finish as first runner-up,” Grace Antigua, head coach of USC Warriors, said.
Meanwhile, SWU Women’s Volleyball team ended the season as the bridesmaids of USJ-R, as the Lady Jaguars were able to edge out the Lady Cobras in nail-biting five-setter of 24-26, 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 13-15, in Game 2 best-of-three finals series.
Petancio, Consad, Canumay, Christian Baidiango, Reniel Illut, and Cedrick Cortes ended their playing years historically in Cesafi as three-peat champions.