LIPA CITY — Jelord Talisayan and the Sabong International Spikers proved that they belong in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League after stunning the more experienced and intact Global Remit.
It took the big plays of the 19-year-old Talisayan to keep the Negros Oriental-based squad in the semifinals race with an improved 1-1 record in Pool B.
The Guihulngan native spiker showed no signs of intimidation as he dropped 18 points against Global Remit, led by three Philippine men’s volleyball team members Joeven Dela Vega, Ish Polvorosa, and Jack Kalingking.
His motivation? The former Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraw wanted to show the unheralded Negrenses could compete against the top club players in the country, too.
“Good feeling po talaga kasi yung mga idol ko pa yung mga kalaban (sa liga). Parang dati lang gusto ko maging kagaya nila. Ngayong kalaro ko na sila, gusto ko patunayan sa sarili ko na kaya ko din kung anong kaya nila,” Talisayan said.
Talisayan said his squad, that has an average age of 22, just showed its sense of urgency with their backs against the wall after losing to MRT-Negros in five sets on Monday.
“Hindi namin ineexpect na natalo namin sila kasi strong team talaga sila. Pinaghandaan talaga namin sila at hindi kami sumusuko,” he said.
Besides the incoming FEU Tamaraw next UAAP season, Charles Absin and Ramil Dela Cruz also delivered the big blows as setter Geonel Regalado outshone Global Remit and national team playmaker Polvorosa.
Sabong International setting an example
Talisayan said they wanted to set a great inspiration to the young Negrenses, who hope to take part in the rise of Philippine men’s volleyball.
“Isa din sa mga purpose namin is to inspire young people sa Negros and gusto rin namin maging modelo para sa kanila paglaki nila at gusto nila maglaro ng volleyball,” he said.
Sabong International trainer John Sinapuelas, speaking for head coach Helmar Suarez, didn’t expect to pull off this kind of upset since they’re a young team.
But now that Talisayan and Co. put themselves a win away from stealing one of the two semis seats in Pool B, they hope to make a Cinderella run when they face the unbeaten Dasma, composed of UAAP standouts, on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
“Wala talaga kaming expectations coming here kasi we’re a young team, going against Manila teams and other provincial teams is really a big thing. We will be going to the next game with all our hearts,” Sinapuelas said.
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