Ball Crushers, Goal Diggers rule v-ball tourney


John Nekaifes bumps the ball, while teammate Alfredo Gueverra looks on during their elimination round game against Set It & 4Get It in the 2017 VolleyTime Tournament last week at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The Ball Crushers and Goal Diggers recorded contrasting wins to top their respective divisions in the 2017 VolleyTime Tournament held last week at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

The Ball Crushers reigned supreme in the men’s division after slipping past Set It & 4Get It in a three-set title game last Friday. Set It & 4Get It stunned the then unbeaten Ball Crushers in the opening set of the winner-take-all finale, 25-22, to boost its chances for an upset. However, the Ball Crushers, who had Jonas Barcinas, John Nekaifes, Riel Mercado, Alfredo Gueverra, Macoi Aguda, Bryan Valenton, Jeff Riman, and John Legacion in its roster, regrouped in the second set and earned a 25-18 victory to extend the championship game.

In the deciding third set, the opposing teams went back and forth before the Ball Crushers gained the advantage in the late stage and escaped the upset axe of Set It & 4Get It with a 15-11 triumph.

The title win was Ball Crushers’ fourth victory in the single-elimination tournament. The eventual champion swept Pool A, beating the Blue Dragons, Set It & 4Get It, and Danny’s Bad Boyz to advance to the semifinals.

In the Final Four, the Ball Crushers needed only two sets to knock off the Aces, 25-16, 25-21. The Aces moved into the semifinals following a 25-23, 18-25, 15-13 triumph against Have Mercy in the first round of the playoffs.

In the other semis pairing, Set It & 4Get It also took the short route to the finals after topping the Blue Dragons, 25-19, 25-18. The Blue Dragons earned the right to face Set It & 4Get It for the second and last finals berth after booting out the Ol’Aces, 25-23, 20-25, 19-17.

Meanwhile, in the women’s division finals, the Goal Diggers survived a tough challenge from All Stars 1/2 in the extended first set, 27-25, before completing the sweep in the second, 25-18. Iszel Moralejo Esteves, Shawn Davis, Michelle Masga, Krystel Maluyo, Cecille Guevarra, and R.J. Laguilles played for the champion team.

The Goal Diggers marched into the title game after eliminating Team Lapta, 25-11, 25-16, and Swerve Up, 25-14, 25-16. Swerve Up set up a semis showdown against the Goal Diggers following a come-from-behind 18-25, 26-24, 15-7 triumph over That’s What She Set. All Stars 1/2, on the other hand, made it to the finals after downing Mix Blood, 26-24, 25-7. Mix Blood reached the semis after rallying past Team Tomoko, 27-29, 25-23, 16-14.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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