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Bea Tan, Rupia Inck claim BVR Open gold



There are no friends when a championship is at stake.

After two grueling days of competition, the duo of Bea Tan and Rupia Inck triumphed over nine other pairs, including the tandem of Charo Soriano and Alexa Micek, for the first Beach Volleyball Republic Women’s Christmas Open Tournament championship at the Sands (SM by the Bay) in Pasay City early Sunday evening.

The Atenean Bea Tan, and Petron’s import in the PSL Grand Prix Rupia Inck toughed four pool matches yesterday and a difficult semifinal match against the then-undefeated Sheila Pineda and Janine Marciano. After defeating Pineda and Marciano 21-11, 21-17, Tan and Rupia faced the indomitable duo of Fil-Am Alexa Micek and beach volley veteran Charo Soriano in a dramatic Final tilt.

Tan and Rupia had taken care of Micek and Soriano in the group stage, 21-18, 21-18. But Micek and Soriano adjusted, attacking Rupia’s vaunted block from different angles and taking the first set 21-17. Trailing 11-14 in the following frame, the would-be champions crawled all the way back and forced a deuce, eventually taking a tight 24-22 win after attack errors from their opponents.

As Tan and Rupia seemed to be running away with the deciding frame, Charo Soriano suffered from cramps in her left leg and needed to be treated. Following a medical timeout, Soriano battled through her cramps and trimmed a six point disadvantage down to three, 13-10. But Tan and Rupia sealed the deal from there, winning two of the next three points to walk away with the title.

For Rupia Inck, the championship punctuated her amazing stay in the Philippines. “This was such a great way to end my trip here in the Philippines. All the friends I met, all the sites I got to see, I still can’t believe I had such a great time here,” said the Brazilian who revealed that this was her first time to play in a beach volleyball tournament.

“I used to just play for fun with my friends but when they invited me to play here a few days ago, that’s when I really learned how to play organized beach volleyball.”

“She’s such a quick learner,” Rupia’s partner, Bea Tan gushed. “It was such a great experience being partners with her. We just tried to have a lot of fun and not think about pressure or anything like that. If anything, we just wanted to give all the fans who came out to watch a great match,” added Tan who did double-duty as she was also one of the event organizers.

In the bronze medal match, Pineda and Marciano thwarted Maica Morada and April Hingpit in a lopsided 21-15, 21-9 decision.

The tandems of Pineda and Marciano, and Morada and Hingpit, both came out of Pool B, thwarting the pairs of Denden Lazaro and Fille Cayetano, Rose Cailing and April Romero, Mich Morente and Mich Otoshi.

Pool A consisted of the finalists plus Judy Caballejo and Camille Abanto, Mariel Sinamban and Julie Tianco, and Vina Alinas and Arielle Estrañero.


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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