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Beach Volleyball

UST’s Barbon-Eslapor claim women’s title, Air Force’s Abdilla-Lopez annex 3rd straight men’s crown

University of Santo Tomas 1’s Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor rallied from a set down to outlast Perlas’ Bea Tan and Dij Rodriguez, 17-21, 21-14, 15-12, and claim the women’s crown in the BVR On Tour: Dumaguete Open Saturday night at the Rizal Boulevard sand court in Dumaguete City.

After yielding three match points, the high-flying Barbon delivered the championship-clinching drop shot to complete a perfect 5-0 campaign with Eslapor in front of a jam-packed crowd.

In an all-Air Force men’s final, Ranran Abdilla and Jessie Lopez won their third straight title this year following a 21-13, 21-14 conquest of Mike Abria and Jade Becaldo.

It was Barbon’s first BVR on Tour leg title since joining forces with Sisi Rondina in ruling the Manila Open last August. Barbon, a native of Quezon, Bukidnon, later won her first-ever UAAP championship with Rondina the following month.

The BVR on Tour resumes on Tuesday, with the fourth leg to be held at the Capitol Beachfront in Lingayen, Pangasinan as part of the annual Pistay Dayat celebration.

In the semifinals, Barbon and Eslapor carved out a 21-16, 21-13 victory over University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos alums Erjane Magdato and Alexa Polidario, to arrange a title duel with Tan and Rodriguez, who ended Smash Bacolod’s Bianca Lizares and Jennifer Cosas’ four-match winning run with a 21-14, 21-13 win in the other pairing.

Dumaguete assistant city administrator Dinno Depositario, who represented Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, handed out the trophies to the winners in the beach volleyball circuit’s second visit to the Negros Oriental capital.

“Huwag kayong mag-alala, magbabalik ang BVR ulit dito sa Dumaguete,” said Depositario during the closing ceremony.

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Abdilla and Lopez bested UST’s Rancel Varga and Efraem Dimaculangan, 21-11, 21-17, to progress to the Finals opposite Abria and Becaldo, who edged University of St. La Salle’s Herold Parcia and Deanne Neil De Pedro, 21-14, 18-21, 15-7, in the other half of the semifinals.

The two-day tournament attracted a record 25 teams, including three pairs from Hong Kong.

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