LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Volleyball games in the Baguio Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) are temporarily suspended as classes in Baguio and Benguet province have been suspended due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

BBEAL chairman and Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC) president emeritus James Malaya has called for the suspension of the games which will resume Saturday and Sunday (March 14 and 15) in various venues in Baguio and Benguet.

“Suspended na lahat [ng games]... as per directive from sir Malaya.. wala ng games (All games are suspended as per the directive of sir Malaya... there are no more games),” University of Baguio (UB) athletic director Alan Elegado told Philippine News Agency in a text message on Thursday night.

UB will host the games on Sunday. with Lady Cardinals raring to win back the crown. It leads the pack with a 5-0 win-loss card, followed by defending champion and its vanquisher last year, the Baguio College of Technology.

The two are supposed to face each other Wednesday to determine the leader of women’s game.

UB last Sunday won a five-set thriller over former six-peat winner University of the Cordilleras (UC). That five-set winner for UB’s new coach Cherry Atuban, who accounted for four of the Cardinals five-year reign as a setter, saw her claw from a set down to eke out a 25-11, 22-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-9 victory that lasted an hour and 48 minutes.

After winning the second and third sets with relative ease, UC foundered in the fourth set and was not the same team when they went for the deciding fifth set where UB built a 4-1 lead and never looked back.

It was a battle of two former setters now coaches of their respective alma maters.

Clarissa Tolentino was part of the six peat UC team from 2002-2007, the second-longest dynasty in the 10-school BBEAL.

UB was on its way to even that six-peat last year when Baguio College of Technology (BCT) unceremoniously stopped the Cardinals in two games with former UB coach Jun Nisperos calling the shots for the Lady Atoms.

It will be the first showdown for the former mentor-student relationship of Nisperos and Atuban, the former actually honed the latter to become Baguio’s best setter during the first half of the decade. (PNA)