Contributed by Dan Lester Dabon
ABU DHABI: The goal of the National Day V-League was to celebrate camaraderie, sportsmanship, and friendship among expatriates in the UAE most specially, the Filipino community. In doing this event, organizers were able to unite all volleyball enthusiasts and pay tribute to the host country and second home, the United Arab Emirates.
The National Day V-League was a result of two major annual volleyball leagues in the UAE- Barbie’s Friendship Cup and League for Legacy. These two major leagues are known for their robust platform in uplifting the image of volleyball sport in the UAE and gathering the biggest and the brightest players.
The leagues were organized by a UAAP star player Allen Dale Mendoza and civic leader, Dan Lester Dabon. Allen and Dan decided to merge their projects in celebration of the Dec. 2 UAE National Day. The event was also co-organized by Abu Dhabi Filipino Volleyball Association (ADFVA) committee members headed by Ronald Precilla in cooperation with Timeless Elegance Event Management and United Filipino Overseas Sports Association (UFOSA).
The league was planned on October 29 over a cup of coffee with digital invitations posted on the same day. Immediately, 16 teams were assembled in a week’s time.
The league started with a parade where each team was formally introduced, followed by the singing of the UAE and Philippine national anthems, and the welcoming remarks by Madam Yoko Ramos, head of the ASEAN Ladies Circle and spouse of Ambassador Constancio Vingno Jr.
Following her speech, a token of appreciation was given to her and awarded 4 (2 men and 2 women) Volleyball Personalities of the Year. There were more than 25 nominees and only 11 made it to the final cut.
The purpose of giving the recognition is to honor players for their significant contributions and commitment to volleyball in the Filipino community. The award was also given to personalities with unparalleled skills and sufficient knowledge combined with right attitude. The winners were evaluated through the following: Social media (Facebook) votes: 40%; knowledge, skills, and attitude: 60%.
The winners were: Mackoy Albuera, Christian Pascual, Ghileen Labrador and Wendy Galela. Each received a trophy, sash, and a scholarship grant of AED 56, 500 courtesy of Bath Spa University.
Following the recognition, Ghileen Labrador, MVP during the 3rd Inter-GCC Volleyball Tournament recently held in Bahrain led the oath of sportsmanship. The league started with a first to reach 30 points with no deuce and double elimination game formats.
Women’s: Chevrolet Ace Spikers defeated SPSS (A Team) with a score of 30-21 giving them the reason to fight back against Abu Dhabi Sisters with a twice-to-beat advantage. Abu Dhabi Sisters’ feistiness inside the court didn’t work as Chevrolet Ace Spikers reigned with 28-30. Moving to the finals, Chevrolet Ace Spikers beat Abu Dhabi Sisters in two straight sets.
Men’s: FEVA Aces and FEVA Artista battled to fight for the championship match with Khan Club Team with a twice to beat advantage. FEVA Aces won over FEVA Artista with 30-23 and advanced to the finals. FEVA Aces won over the Khan Club Team and triggered for a championship match. Khan Club won in 2 straight sets.
The champion teams received AED 16, 000 while the runner-ups received AED 4, 000. All winners received a sash and a trophy. This year’s Most Valuable Players received AED 1, 000.
Below is the list of awardees in this year’s National Day V-League:
Volleyball Personalities of the Year:
Wendy Polancos Galela
Jefferson Buado Patanao
Evert Brian Flores
Kesia Mary De Luna
Mhadel Parani Monton
Dona Mae Andrade Factor
Emeli Zuño (Women’s)
Badong Costa (Men’s)
Mara Lajara (Women’s)
John Carlo Lozada
Kesia Mary De Luna (Women’s)
Asham Ali (Men’s)
Dona Mae Andrade Factor (Women’s)
Nathalie Nikki Quilala (Women’s)
Leonel Evan Laraya (Men’s)
Most Defensive Players:
Mhadel Parani Monton (Women’s)
John Carlo Lozada (Men’s)
Abu Dhabi Sisters (Women’s)
FEVA Aces (Men’s)
Chevrolet Ace Spikers (Women’s)
Khan Club (Men’s)
Hawie Lumberio (Women’s)
Asham Ali (Men’s)