WHILE Talaingod spikers celebrate their gold medal victory, the Davao City girls volleyball team shed tears of disappointment after losing the Batang Pinoy 2019 Mindanao Qualifying Leg finals at the jam-packed University of Mindanao (UM) Tagum gym Saturday, February 9.
Talaingod, coached by Bobby Jones Sinco, said the feat was a redemption of sort after finishing silver in the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet 2019 held in Davao City January 27 to February 2.
Sinco, in an interview with SunStar Davao, said, "First time po naming mag-join sa Batang Pinoy. From our preparation to Davraa Meet, dire-diretso na kami sa Batang Pinoy."
He cited his players' discipline and confidence, which paved the way for them to win.
"Tiwala talaga sa sarili. Siguro di talaga para sa amin ang Davraa pero ang Batang Pinoy para sa Talaingod," Sinco added.
Talaingod bested Davao City, 25-15, 28-26, in the championship game witnessed by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez, PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, Davao del Norte provincial sports and youth coordinator Giovanni Gulanes and Presidential Assistant for Sports Glenn Escandor.
The latter's daughter, Irina, was playing for Davao City during the game. She helped Davao squad close the gap in the first set via her five service aces.
Ramirez and Maxey, however, were seen consoling the Dabawenyas during a team huddle after the loss enroute to a silver finish.
Maxey assured them that they could still advance to the national finals in October.
Davao coach Henry Labio praised the efforts of her players, saying, "Mga players ko mga bata pa talaga. May mga kulang kami especially sa pag-attack. Kulang skill namin, wala kaming pamatay (na attackers)."
He, however, was thankful for that they reached the championship round.
"Malaking pasalamat ko sa ground defense na meron kami at nakarating kami sa finals. Next time siguraduhin may magandang laro sa nationals," Labio added in a separate interview.
The Davao team was also composed of Rika Sasaki, Alshaila Noro, Allexa Quilaton, Jaben David, Marian Polancos, Khey Aleck Pablo, Cahre Nablea, Jana Igna, Rosmar Evangelio, Katharina Espero and Johanna Alcuizar.