After seven action-filled legs that saw them hop the archipelago, the Beach Volleyball Republic will name the overall champion of their inaugural national circuit, BVR on Tour, in a culminating tournament on May 26 and 27, at the SM Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.
A mix of 16 pairs which includes BVR regulars, college teams, and provincial teams were split into four pools. Each pool will play a single round of matches with the top two pairs from each pool moving on to the next phase. The top teams of Pool A will take on the top teams of Pool D leaving the teams from Pool B and C and to battle for semifinals spots.
Pool A includes BVR founder Charo Soriano and Fil-Am spiker Alexa Micek, San Beda College’s twins Nieza and Jeziela Viray, Negros representatives Jennifer Cosas and Floremel Rodriguez, and Hawaiian pair Ivee Ilao and Tatiana Sablan.
Teams from Pool B are Air Force’s Judy Caballejo and Koya Abanto, Iloilo’s Dhannylaine Demontaño and Jackie Estaquia, Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ Rhea Fermilan and Javen Sabas, and South Western University’s Therese Ramas and Janelle Cabahug.
Pool C has Jonnafer San Pedro and Jessa Aranda, BVR founder Bea Tan and beach volley legend Fiola Ceballos, Lyceum of Philippines University Cherilyn Sindayen and Rainne Fabay, and Tagum City’s Lourdilyn Catubag and Karen Quilario.
Pool D includes BVR founder Dzi Gervacio and her fellow Atenean Michelle Morente, University of the Philippines’ Isa Molde and Diana Carlos, Far Eastern University’s Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, and Cebu’s Apple Saraum and Jusabelle Brillo.
Out of the field, Soriano and Micek seem like early favorites winning four of the seven previous legs. In a long, grueling tournament, however, anything can happen.
“For sure, it’s going to be the toughest tournament so far,” said Soriano. “For us, we just need to make sure we get better every time we play and just take it one game at a time.”
Aside from holding tournaments in the places they went, BVR held grassroots training camps for the local youth who wanted to learn about the sport.
“The best part about going around the country was interacting with the different people along the way and sharing our passion for beach volleyball. Especially in a country like ours, I believe this sport can really grow,” Tan said.
In just a year, BVR grew tremendously into the biggest advocate of the sport in the country. The end of their first circuit is only the start of a new chapter for the organization.
“When you have a shared passion with a lot of dedicated people, it becomes somehow easy to get your message across and promote the sport. There are still a lot of things we need to learn but we’re thankful for everyone who have been helping us in this journey,” Soriano remarked.
Matches will be televised on ABS CBN Sports + Action on May 27 and 28.