Cherry Rondina and Bernadeth Pons — the Philippines’ best medal hopes in the Southeast Asian Games — opened their campaign with a 21-10, 22-20 win over Mer Jauculan and Gen Eslapor of University of Santo Tomas in the 2019 Rebisco Beach Volleyball International Open at the Sands SM By The Bay, Friday.
After a dominant opening set showing, Rondina and Pons encountered a rough patch as Jauculan and Eslapor put up a gallant stand.
A Jauculan service ace tied the second set, 20-20, before Rondina put her team at match point with a powerful kill. Eslapor then committed a net touch violation that gave Rondina and Pons the straight-set win.
The other Philippine team for the SEA Games, Dij Rodriguez and Dzi Gervacio made short work of DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia, 21-7, 21-9.
Expect the pairs of Rondina and Pons, and Rodriguez and Gervacio to be tested against a tough international field in the three-day, double-gender tournament presented by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc., in cooperation with Beach Volleyball Republic.
In the men’s division, Edmar Bonono and Jude Garcia, the Philippines’ top team to the SEA Games, scored a 21-16, 21-15 win over Palau’s Edson Kaweo Ngiraiwet and Sakiusa Vaka Naivana.
The other country’s bet to the biennial meet, James Buytrago and Krung Arbasto, improved to 2-0 in pool play following a 21-17, 21-11 victory over Cignal’s Pemie Bagalay and Pol Salvador. Buytrago and Arbasto opened its campaign with a over Hong Kong 3’s Ku Hin Ting and Yiu Ming Kam, 21-7, 21-13.
A total of 20 teams, eight in women and 12 in men, are participating in the competition supported by Rebisco, and backed by Liberty Insurance, Glorious Blend and Globe Telecom.
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