CANDON CITY — NU’s Kly Orillaneda and Kathrina Epa pulled off a thrilling 21-17, 17-21, 15-11 victory over Bacolod’s Bianca Lizares and Honey Grace Cordero to capture the women’s crown via a six-match sweep in the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour Candon City leg on Sunday at Darapidap Beach here.
It was Orillaneda and Epa’s first BVR on Tour crown as a pair, but not without surviving a tough stand by Lizares and Cordero.
In the men’s division, Harbor Pilot’s Ranran Abdilla and Rancel Varga downed NU’s Pol Salvador and Alex Iraya, 21-13, 21-10, to complete a perfect 5-0 campaign.
After dropping the opening set, Bacolod raced to a 14-7 second-set lead and never looked back to force a decider.
Bacolod took a 9-6 third-set advantage after a Cordero kill, and NU stormed back and grabbed an 11-10 lead after Lizares was whistled for a double-contact violation.
Lizares’ hit forced the match’s last deadlock at 11-11 when Epa’s back-to-back kills opened NU’s 4-0 finishing run.
Orillaneda’s loop shot put her team at match point, and Epa delivered the championship-sealing kill.
The wait is over for Orillaneda, whose previous best finish was in the 2018 December Open when she and Roma Joy Doromal placed second behind Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan, as well as for Epa, who debuted on the tour in 2019.
On their way to the championship, Orillaneda and Epa swept Pool C and made short work of Ateneo 1’s Gena Hora and Yumi Furukawa, 21-17, 21-13, in the quarterfinals, and Ateneo 2’s Jana Cane and Liz Lomocso, 21-17, 21-13, in the semifinals.
Despite the finals loss, second place was the best finish for Lizares, the 5-foot-7 BVR regular who started competing in the tour in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, in March 2018 with Jennifer Cosas as her partner.
Cordero, on the other hand, is a BVR on Tour debutant. West V’s Tan and Cosas defeated Ateneo 2’s Cane and Lomocso, 21-14, 21-19, to secure the bronze medal and rebound from an 11-21, 21-17, 10-15 semifinals loss to Bacolod’s Lizares and Cordero.
Abdilla has won his fifth BVR on Tour title, while Varga earned his third gold.