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Beach Volleyball

Rodriguez-Eslapor fall to 0-2 in AVC Beach Volley

Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor fell short against Thailand and Australia in Pool A on the 2021 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships opening day at the Bang Tao Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

The Filipinas proved to be a challenge to the top-seeded Thailand-1’s Radarong Varapatsorin and Udomchavee Tanarattha but still succumbed in straight sets, 16-21, 22-24.

16th seed Rodriguez and Eslapor almost snatched one set from the Thais, forcing an extended second canto but the latter showed their experience down the stretch to seal the win.

Earlier in the day, the Filipina duo yielded to eighth-ranked Australia-2’s Phoebe Bell and Georgia Johnson in a tight three-setter, 22-20, 10-21, 11-15.

Rodriguez and Eslapor started off hot, able to squeak a 22-20 decision in the first frame.

However, the Aussies decided to turn the notch higher come the second salvo, blowing out the Philippines by a mile, 21-10, to force a decider.

And there, the much-experienced Australia squad proved to be the steadier team, running away with the victory, 15-11.

The duo will only have one match tomorrow at 9 am (Manila time) when they face Sri Lanka 2’s Deepika Bandara and Hashini Malsha, before capping the preliminaries on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the other Filipina team represented by the famed SiPons of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons will make their debut as well at 9:50 am against Japan-1’s Asami Shiba and Takemi Nishibori at Pool D.

Only the top four in each pool after the preliminaries will make the knockout rounds.

This is the country’s first participation in the continental tournament in 11 years as Johanna Botor-Carpio and Nene Bautista last represented the Philippines in the competition in 2010.

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