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Mark Calado

Mark Calado powers Team Dasmariñas to Champions League finals

Mark Calado powered Team Dasmariñas to a thrilling 25-20, 30-28, 20-25, 21-25, 18-16 victory over the VNS Manileño Spikers to arrange a championship duel with Go for Gold-Air Force in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League for men on Friday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa, Batangas.

When the chips were down, the Monarchs turned to Calado, who scored all but one of his 28 points from spikes as they withstood the Manileño Spikers’ fightback from two sets down to emerge victorious in the semifinal.

Madzlan Gampong had three blocks for a 17-point effort while Ronniel Rosales chipped in 13 points, including for the Monarchs.

It will be a battle of the undefeated teams for the gold, as the Monarchs (4-0) and the Aguilas (3-0) go for all the marbles at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Team Dasmariñas
Team Dasmariñas / PNVF

Aside from earning the distinction as the first-ever Champions League winners, the champions will also become the Philippines representative to the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Urmia, Iran on May 15-22, 2022.

The Monarchs simply held their composure after the Manileño Spikers rallied back from two sets down to force a fifth set.

“I told my teammates to stay calm. I simply wanted to win,” said Calado, who scored back-to-back kills to put the Monarchs at match-point.

Setter Cian Silang then drilled in a service ace to ice the game for the Monarchs.

“We lost our composure in the third and fourth set. I told them before the fifth set we should not end our journey here. We should keep our focus to our goal,” said skipper Jayvee Sumagaysay, who fired three service aces.

“I told my teammates that even without coach (Norman), he is not the one who is playing. He is simply our guide. We are the ones who are performing inside the court. As a team captain, I told them to stay together,” he added.

“I don’t think about it, because in the first place, volleyball is a team sport. For me, we have the edge because we are one,” said Sumagaysay on facing the Aguilas, some of them are his former teammates in the national team.

Benedict San Andres, Kevin Montemayor and Benjaylo Labide had 16 points apiece for the Manileño Spikers.

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