LIPA CITY — Casiey Dongallo, 16, was one of the brightest spots of California Precision Sports’ youth brigade that showed maturity beyond their years in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League.
The Grade 11 outside hitter capped their impressive national league stint with a come-from-behind five-set stunner on the Premier Volleyball League bronze medalist PetroGazz, which has current national team middle blocker Ria Meneses and former members Ces Molina, Myla Pablo, Grethcel Soltones, and Kath Arado.
It was a fitting culmination for Dongallo, Jelai Gajero, and Co., who also put up a gallant stand against champion teams Chery Tiggo and F2 Logistics as well as pro squad Perlas Spikers finishing with 2-3 record.
Their impressive showing was propelled by Dongallo’s scoring prowess as she averaged 20.2 points to emerge as one of the league’s top scorers.
Her motivation? Matching the level of the pros even at a young age.
“Hindi porket high school ako, pro sila ay hindi ko na kayang makipagsabayan sa kanila. So once I stepped on the court at binigay sa akin ni Kizzie (Madriaga) kailangan ko patayin,” said Dongallo. “Kailangan ko patunayan na kahit high school ako kaya ko pumuntos at makipaglaban sa kanila.”
Casiey Dongallo: Best outside hitter award candidate
The 5-foot-6 spiker is a contender for one of the two best outside hitter awards of the Champions League "Dream Team" to be given after the final game between F2 Logistics and Chery Tiggo.
“I don’t expect na I would get an award kasi compared sa ibang outside hitters sila ate (Kalei) Mau, mas maganda yung porsyento nila. Pero kung mabibigyan ako ng award, why not,” she said.
The Antipolo-based high school players impressed a lot of fans on social media after a head-turning stint, but Dongallo said they are still careful and responsible in using their social media accounts.
“Masaya siyempre kasi maraming sumusporta samin pero careful pa din kasi merong iba sumusupport na nga pero may mga mali pa ring sinasabi. Thankful ako sa lahat ng sumusuporta sa buong team,” she said.
When asked about their future plans for college, Gajero said that she, Dongallo and the whole core will stay committed to CAL Colleges in Antipolo.
“Plan po kasi namin we’re committed to CAL (Colleges). We want to stick together po mas malakas po kaysa magkakawatak watak kami. Lumakas po kami sa program na ito and we’re gonna stick sa program na ‘to. We need to stick together to be dominant,” said Gajero, who is also the classmate of Dongallo.
California Academy will bring all their learnings in Rebisco’s under 20 tournament from December 4 to 10 and will spend their Christmas break finishing all their assignments and school requirements.
“Marami kaming tambak na gawain sa school pero kaya naman po. We’re gonna use our Christmas vacation para habulin,” Gajero said.
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