CAGAYAN DE ORO — For national commissioner Jerry Yee, Cagayan de Oro lived up to its name and is indeed a gold mine of volleyball talent.
With more than 500 aspiring volleyball players from all over Mindanao gathering in this city for the Mindanao Leg of the Akari Nationals 2018, Yee is elated to see raw high school talent in Akari’s push to develop volleyball not only in the collegiate level, but as well in the grassroots.
“Nagbantay tayo the whole day sa apat na separate venues. Yes may nakita tayo, hopefully they make it to the collegiate level,” Yee told Akari Sports after wrapping up Day 1 festivities.
Featuring 40 schools divided into eight groups, teams battled out in the first day in round robin format with the top school of each group proceeding to the playoffs to be played Sunday.
Perennial Palaro contender Iligan City National High School topped Group A as they swept their bracket en route to a quarterfinal tiff against Group B winner Libertad National High School which also zoomed to a 4-0 record.
Traveling for more than three hours from their hometown was more than worth it for Bukidnon National High School of Home Industries-Maramag Campus as they topped Group C with a 4-0 card and will face Group D winner Valencia City National High School in the quarterfinals.
Hometown bets Liceo de Cagayan University High School and Angelicum Learning Center will square off in the Last 8 after they both finished Day 1 unscathed in Groups E and F, respectively.
In Group G, Corpus Christi School played inspired volleyball in their homecourt to finish with a 4-0 record while Pilgrim Christian College had to go to the quotients to escape Group H with a 3-1 slate.
“On behalf of the people in the Philippines na mahilig sa volleyball, I appreciate Akari. They see the importance of developing the sport. Sport natin ito, mahal natin ito, and they support it in different levels particularly sa grassroots. We are very thankful to them,” Yee shares.
The playoffs will be played simultaneously in Corpus Christi School and in Nazareth Gym in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday.