BAGUIO CITY – A total of 10 teams from nine schools here and four other regions including the National Capital Region will start their quest for the first Baguio Inter-High School Invitational volleyball from September 6 to 8 at the University of the Cordilleras gym and Engineer’s Hill covered court.
Reigning Batang Pinoy national finals champion and Pudtol, Apayao volleyball open champion California Academy of Antipolo, Rizal will lead the 10 competing teams which will have three of the top high school volleyball teams in Baguio.
California beat reigning Baguio Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) champion Baguio College of Technology (BCT) in a five-set thriller where their players are not older than grade 10.
University of the Cordilleras High School (UCHS) placed third in the same tournament.
Reigning Baguio and Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) champion UCHS will lead the three Baguio squads as they try to beat the odds against the more experienced Manila and Tagalog region squads.
Also in the mix are former powerhouse Baguio City High School (BCHS) and University of Baguio High School (UBHS).
Former CARAA champion Pudtol Vocational High School will also send a team in the first 18-under competition backed by the city government of Baguio, the Department of Education – Cordillera and the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF).
Slated to see action in the three-day competition is the University of Luzon in Dagupan, Holy Family Academy of Angeles City with two teams, Gracel Christian College Foundation of Taguig City and First City Providential College of Bulacan.
King’s Montessori School of Manila, which usually represents the NCR in the Palaro, withdrew from the tournament a few days prior due to another commitment.
“This is something new for the city and we hope to see our kids play against the top and tough teams from the other regions including the NCR and Calabarzon,” said UCHS coach Sherry Ann Floresca, who led the staging of the event through the ABCamp program.
She said the teams will be divided into two brackets of five and six teams and they will play round robin where the top two teams from each bracket will go to a cross-over semifinal.
The winners of the semifinals will decide the winner of the tournament.
The top three teams will receive cash prizes and trophies.
UCHS is the most dominant team in Baguio the past three years and finally won the regional title against Pudtol last February to qualify for the Palarong Pambansa where it finished among the top eight.
The team is currently seeing action in the Cordillera Volleyball Development League for Elementary and Secondary School and defends in both the junior high school and open for senior high school divisions, where they are the defending champion in both. Pigeon Lobien / PNA – northboundasia.com