Mighty Deez are SVSA v-ball champs

Posted on Mar 28 2023

Team Mighty Deez players pose for a picture after the championship game against 4 Starz in the Saipan Volleyball Statistics Association Spring Volleyball Tournament last Saturday at the Agape Gymnasium. From left, Mokyang Joseph Kim, Jerome Manzon, William Arriola, Juruel Magtalas, Dylan Mister, Lowell Lumauag, Raiki Tababa, and John Justo. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Team Mighty Deez came out the mightiest in the Saipan Volleyball Statistics Association Spring Volleyball Tournament championship game against the 4 Starz last Saturday at the Agape Gymnasium.

In a five-set championship round, the Mighty Deez did not allow the 4 Starz any leverage as the finals ended in a sweep of only three sets by the Mighty Deez.

The Mighty Deez, made up of the rotation of Jerome Manzon, Juruel Magtalas, William Arriola, Lowell Lumauag, John Justo, Raiki Tababa, Dylan Mister, and Mokyang Kim, whipped 4 Starz from the get-go, but not without a fight in the end.

Mighty Deez’s John Justo, left attempts to block a spike from 4 Starz’s Nahson Padahk in the second set of the championship game in the Saipan Volleyball Statistics Association Spring Volleyball Tournament last Saturday at the Agape Gymnasium.(LEIGH GASES)

The 4 Starz, which included Nak Nakashima, Yohei Iwashita, Denri Fiden, Kaystone Norech, Gino Asauo, Nahson Padahk, and Marc Danga, were overpowered as they fell, 16-25, in the first set. 

In the second set, 4 Starz tried to retaliate but could not produce the desired outcome as they trailed behind early. 

Magtalas reigned with his immaculate serves which handed Mighty Deez multiple consecutive points, but the momentum shifted when the offense swung over to the 4 Stars when they caught up. However, the Mighty Deez regained their composure and pulled the W in a close 25-23 victory.

The last and deciding set was dominated by Mister’s right-hand unhittable kills which was always perfectly setted by Justo. Mighty Deez played aggressively at the net, not giving 4 Starz ample time to reset, and also landed multiple aces—a few of which came from Manzon.

Mighty Deez outpaced the 4 Starz and landed more well-placed shots and resulted in a sweep of the finals, 25-21.

The MVP award of the finals went to Dylan Mister with 21 kills; Best Setter went to John Justo; Most Blocks went to Nayson Padak with 5; Most Kills (21) and Most Aces (5) went to Manzon.

SVSA president and team captain of the Mighty Deez Jerome Manzon said that they have never played against their opponent during the tournament so it was a surprise match. 

“We didn’t know what they had, and they didn’t know what we had. So it was a tie, but we knew that we were both the Top 2 teams and in the end, the top team would come out in the finals.”

He said that the strategy playing against the top team of the other pool was just to stay positive throughout the matches. 

“We just had to stay positive through teamwork, keep everyone uplifted, and to promote positivity in the group so that it can reflect in our momentum going through the tournament.”

Their toughest competition was Team Wettz, said Manzon. “They had strong chemistry in the beginning of the preliminary matches. Since we lost to them, we used that match to work on what we were missing and what we needed to focus on.”

As for the tournament, Manzon said that the turnout was “amazing. My goodness, I can’t even say anything. I had a great team behind me—my stats team, my organization, the volunteers that came out, they all really helped me to execute this whole entire tournament. I would like to say thank you to everyone that came out. The service organization and my board members, Agape Christian School, and the rest of the people who helped me here, I’d like to say thank you, and we’re looking forward to more.”

The SVSA is a new volleyball organization that aims to have frequent volleyball tournaments throughout the year. With the completion of their tournament, they will transition into a new league later.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.
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