Alexa Polidario and Erjane Magdato of UNO-R displayed better court smarts, beating Samaa Miyagawa of Japan and Tin Lai of Hong Kong, 21-15, 21-18, to take the women’s championship in the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour Tuesday at the Rizal Boulevard sand court in Dumaguete City.
In what could be the most well-attended leg in the three-year old beach volleyball circuit, Polidario and Magdato neutralized the visitors’ power game to prevail, delighting the huge crowd that braved the light showers at the venue.
It is Polidario and Magdato’s first BVR title since ruling the Santa Fe, Bantayan Island leg last March.
“We were blessed po kasi first time na nakakalaban kami ng international players. Nagpapasalamat kami kasi ginawa ng partner ko ang lahat, especially sa communication,” said Polidario, who, with Magdato, was able to find ways to win after losing to Miyagawa and Lai, 15-21, 18-21, in pool play on Monday.
Reunited for the ninth leg of the tour, former UAAP champions KR Guzman and Krung Arbasto copped the men’s gold medal following a 21-18, 21-14 decision over Mitabashi Masato and Takashi Tsuchiya of Japan.
Playing in front of huge audience that filled every part of the venue really boosted the UNO-R tandem.
“Masaya po. Thank you po sa lahat ng nanood,” said Polidario, who reconnected again with Magdato, who played her first tournament in the sand court in six months.
With the massive success of Dumaguete leg, Soriano – one of the BVR founders – assured the crowd that the beach volley circuit will return in the famed university town next year.
“We were able to give a chance for the local talents to showcase their wares, and we were able to develop their skills. We really believe that beach volleyball is one of the sports that we can excel in,” said Soriano during the awarding ceremony attended by Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo.
In the semifinals, Polidario and Magdato upended University of Santo Tomas’ Babylove Barbon and Genesa Eslapor, 21-18, 15-21, 15-12. Miyagawa and Lai overcame Perlas’ Charo Soriano and Bea Tan, 21-13, 21-19.
Barbon and Eslapor then reasserted their mastery of Soriano and Tan, 21-15, 21-15, to claim third place.
In the men’s semis, Guzman and Arbasto beat Air Force’s Jessie Lopez and Ranran Abdilla, 16-21, 21-15, 15-9, while Masato and Tsuchiya upended Efraim Dimaculangan and Rancel Varga of UST, 21-18, 21-16.
PAF rallied from a set down to beat UST, 14-21, 21-15, 15-11, to nab third place.