Errors doomed Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons in the golden match as the Philippines bid farewell to its Olympic dreams, Friday in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
SiPons — as many fondly call their tandem — bowed to New Zealand’s Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley in the deciding match, 21-19, 10-21, 12-15.
The Filipinas looked primed for an upset after a thrilling 21-19 first set, capped by Rondina’s 1-2 play.
However, the Kiwis got one back right away. They started the second frame in a 10-2 blitz en route to forcing a do-or-die third set.
Trailing 5-10 in the decider, the Philippines came within two after a Pons drop shot. Two conversions by New Zealand and two errors from the Filipinas then put the game to bed.
Pons led the country with 25 points. Meanwhile, Rondina was limited to just nine markers — four in the last two sets.
Zeimann uncorked 22 points for the Kiwis while Polley delivered 20.
Earlier, Filipinas Dij Rodriguez and Babylove Barbon yielded to NZ’s Team 2 of Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley, 14-21, 13-21.
This puts the Philippines on the brink of elimination.
But SiPons had other plans, pulling off a three-setter win against Kiwis Francesca Kirwan and Olivia Macdonal, 21-12, 17-21, 15-9, to send the series to a golden match.
Limited to just six and two points in the first two cantos respectively, the four-time UAAP beach volleyball MVP dropped seven markers in the third set to lead the country to the victory.