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AVC Beach Volley: SiPons, Rodriguez-Eslapor advance to Seniors Championship Last 16

The two Philippine women’s teams made it to the Round of 16 in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Senior Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship Thursday in Roi-Et, Thailand.

Relishing the experience of playing against Tokyo Olympics silver medalists, Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons gave Australia 1’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar a scare before absorbing a 16-21, 17-21 setback.

Rondina and Pons gave the Aussies everything to handle in the second set to point that Clancy and Artacho del Solar called a timeout. But the tournament’s top-ranked team pulled away to prevail, ending the Filipinas’ bid to secure a seat in the quarterfinals.

It was Rondina and Pons’ second consecutive round-of-16 appearance after they made it past the pool stage of the AVC Beach Tour Roi-Et Open a week ago.

Making it to the round of 16 this time after missing the cut in the Roi-Et Open, Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor ended their campaign with a 7-21, 14-21 loss to Thailand 1’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee and Taravadee Naraphornrapat.

Rondina and Pons finished their Pool D stint with a 2-1 record in second place, having beaten Thailand 3’s Wornatchayakorn Phirachatakrailert and Charanrutwadee Patcharamainaruebhorn, 21-15, 15-21, 15-7, and New Zealand 3’s Maya Dickson and Katie Sadlier, 21-11, 21-8. Their only loss came from the hands of China 1’s Lin Meimei and Xia Xinyi, 10-21, 11-21.

Rodriguez and Eslapor’s lone win from the hands of Australia 3’s Alisha Stevens and Georgia Johnson, 21-19, 21-13, but the result was enough to finish second in Pool G and gain a place in the Round of 16.

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Their two losses were five-setters—against Japan 2’s Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi, 16-21, 24-22, 12-15, and Hong Kong 2’s To Wingtung and Wong Manching, 21-16, 18-21, 13-15.

Thirty-two pairs participated in the three-day continental competition, where the Philippine National Volleyball Federation supported the national women’s beach volleyball teams participation.

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