FOLLOWING its historic sweep of the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference, Cagayan Valley plans to further stay intact and play in the different leagues around the country.
Top backer Dang Antonio-Pua said the newly crowned V-League champions plan to tour the country to help spur the growth of volleyball.
“Plano na ni coach Nes (Pamilar) at ng coaching staff na ituluy-tuloy na isali (ang team) sa iba't-ibang liga sa Pilipinas not just for the athletes, but for the volleyball fans out there,” she said in the din of Cagayan Valley’s celebration following its 25-16, 19-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-7 win over Smart-Maynilad in the title clincher on Sunday night at The Arena.
Now focusing on the grassroots level, Antonio-Pua is confident someday the province of Cagayan will be able to develop players good enough to make the national team.
“Actually kaya namin ginawang national `yung pagsali sa competition kasi we want to influence kids to get interested sa sport (ng volleyball)," she said.
"So we've been doing the Cagayan friendship meet for five years and sa ngayon masaya kami sa turnout kasi madami na ang mga batang gusto maglaro,” she added. “Nakakapag-buo na kami ng club doon and so dahil nga interested na ang mga bata, pwede na kami mag start ng training para one day makakapag-buo na rin kami ng team na solid Cagayan."
And the Lady Rising Suns’ perfect 16-0 run in the V-League, capped by a two-game sweep of Smart-Maynilad in the best-of-three Finals, is definitely a good way to start things out.
A former volleyball player at Miriam College who had to cut short her career due to back injuries, Antonio-Pua said the Lady Rising Suns’ title conquest fulfilled a long-cherished dream for her.
While she never expected a season sweep, the team owner maintained she always had faith in Cagayan Valley.
“Never in my wildest dreams. I never expected na 16-0 (sweep)," she said.
"Kasi ang daming superstars eh, andon na (sa Smart) lahat ng superstars ng volleyball, although I have all the faith in my girls. Ang alam ko lang lalaban kami but never in my dreams na 16-0 (sweep)."