Bacoor strikes first in 2023 MPVA Finals, moves closer to inaugural title

After needing a comeback against Rizal just to reach the Finals, the Bacoor City Strikers Metro Land Builders Corp are now just one win away from claiming the championship in the inaugural season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA). 

Bacoor struck first in the 2023 MPVA Finals, claiming Game 1 of the best-of-three series last Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena after defeating top seed Negros Blue Hawks in four sets, 25-17, 25-13, 23-25, and 25-22.

Shaila Omipon fired 21 points for Bacoor to help them win Game 1 of the 2023 MPVA Finals. | Image Courtesy of the MPVA (Roman Prospero).

The Strikers started strong against Negros, the team that topped the first two rounds of competition, winning the first two sets convincingly, 25-17 and 25-13. The Blue Hawks came alive in Set 3, to the delight of their supporters, and threatened to drag the match to a deciding fifth set, but Bacoor shut the door on any comeback hopes, taking the fourth set to complete the stunning victory and move to the cusp of the title.

Setter Jhasmine Sapin shone for Bacoor in the match, tallying 16 excellent sets to go with 3 points on 2 service aces and 1 block, and was named as the Queen of the Court for her performance. Sapin distributed the ball well among her spikes, with Mary Rhose Dapol and Shaila Omipon reaping the benefits, with the reigning NCAA MVP and Rookie of the Year, respectively, finishing with 21 points apiece. 

Negros will need two wins to defeat Bacoor in the 2023 MPVA Finals. | Image Courtesy of the MPVA (Roman Prospero).

For Negros, two of the team’s top players in Angel Habacon and Reyann Cañete combined for 25 points, but did not get much help from their teammates as they now find themselves on the brink of defeat. The Blue Hawks, however, are no strangers to pulling off comebacks in the tournament, as they defeated upstarts Marikina twice in the semifinals after dropping their opener to the Lady Shoemasters to book their spot in the Finals.

Earlier in the day, Marikina also moved closer to the bronze medal after defeating the Rizal Xentromall Golden Coolers in straight sets, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21. After picking up wins over higher-ranked teams like third seed Bacoor, fourth seed Nasipit, and even top seed Negros, the Lady Shoemasters slayed another giant in Rizal, which finished second after the first two rounds of competition. Justine Rebleza led Marikina with 14 points, all of which came on attacks, and was named as the Queen of the Court for her efforts.

Marikina is closer to claiming the bronze medal in the 2023 MPVA Season. | Image Courtesy of the MPVA (Roman Prospero).

Bacoor and Marikina look to claim the gold and bronze medals, respectively, when the action continues on Tuesday, December 19, at the Strike Gymasium in Bacoor, Cavite. The Lady Shoemasters face the Golden Coolers in Game 2 of their bronze medal match at 2:00 p.m. Meanwhile, the Strikers will try to secure the championship against the Blue Hawks in Game 2 of the Finals at 5:00 p.m., and win the league’s inaugural title inside their home court and in front of their fans.

For more updates on the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association’s matches, scores, and schedules, follow Plus Network or the MPVA’s official Facebook page.

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