The Philippines’ valiant stand in the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open lasted until the quarterfinals, as Cherry Rondina and Dzi Gervacio succumbed to Japan’s Shinako Tanaka and Fujii Sakurako, 13-21, 21-17, 11-15, at the Sands SM by the Bay.
Rondina and Gervacio had swept Canadians Caleigh Cruikshank and Megan Nagy (21-17, 21-17) in the round-of-12, early Saturday morning, to secure a spot in the quarters.
As the only host sqaud to enter the quarters, Rondina and Gervacio played inspired volleyball late in the second set against their Japanese foes to force a decider.
With Japan leading 13-9 in the third set, Rondina scored back-to-back points to trim the deficit to two and sue for a late comeback. But the Japanese were too much, retaliating with their own 2-0 spurt, securing a spot in the semifinals.
“Ang dami naming natutunan sa mga nilaro namin. Blessing para sa amin ‘yung experience na ‘to. Hopefully, we made ‘yung mga nanuod sa amin proud,” said Rondina, an accomplished beach player in the UAAP and PSL.
“I personally didn’t expect that we’d reach Day 2, so when we got here, Sisi and I really just wanted to give our best,” added Gervacio, a founder of local beach volleyball circuit, Beach Volleyball Republic.
Rondina and Gervacio were not the only Pinays to reach Day Two. Lot Catubag and Karen Quilario of the PNP bowed out after a heartbreaking 34-36, 25-23, 15-17 loss to Thailand’s Thatsarida Singchuea and Pawarun Chanthawichai in the round-of-12.