Babylove Barbon and Genesa Eslapor scored a 21-17, 21-17 victory over Charo Soriano and Bea Tan, in an early showdown of women’s favorites in the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour, Monday at the Rizal Boulevard sand court in Dumaguete City.
Using their quickness and court smarts, Barbon and Eslapor of UAAP titleholder University of Santo Tomas were able to pull through against the battle-tested Perlas pair, which they fashioned out in front of a huge crowd led by Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo.
Later in the afternoon Barbon and Eslapor posted two more victories. They first emerged victorious against Mahriz Cosain and Bianca Lizares of USLS, 21-15, 21-14. Then a win over Air Force’s Mae Crisostomo and Mariel Legaspi, 21-7, 21-5, virtually clinched them a spot in Tuesday’s semifinals.
Returning to the site of their triumphant 23rd Philippine University Games championship late last month – which they hope to replicate in the ninth leg of the tour – Barbon and Eslapor are installed as one of the teams to beat.
Former UAAP champions KR Guzman and Krung Arbasto of Tiger Wings opened their championship bid in the men’s division with a 21-19, 13-21, 15-12 win over Deanne Neil Depedro and Harold Parcia of USLS in Group B.
Based on the warm reception from the fans on opening day, Dumaguete is a cinch to remain one of BVR’s regular venues next year.
“Having tournaments in Dumaguete will really boost the development of beach volleyball in this area,” said Philippine University Games president Roger Banzuela during Sunday night’s welcome dinner.
“We like to thank Beach Volleyball Republic founders Bea (Tan) and Charo (Soriano). They have done a good job in promoting the sport in our country,” the veteran USLS coach added.
Among those who attended Monday’s opening ceremonies are LVPI president Peter Cayco, Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, and city officials.
In Group A, Samaa Miyagawa of Japan and Tin Lai of Hong Kong set their title aspirations in motion with a 21-9, 21-8 romp of Cebu’s Dij Rodriguez and Dannah Jimenez.
In other women’s morning matches, Dzi Gervacio and Jen Acain – combining forces for Perlas and Air Force – turned back Dipolog’s Angelina Damas and Grace Barrica, 21-16, 21-6, in Group A. Similarly, Cosain and Lizares topped Jennymar Senares and Jennifer Cosas of Bacolod, 23-21, 21-13, in Group B. Erjane Magdato and Alexa Polidario of UNO-R pinned for Dipolog their second loss with a 21-2, 21-10 victory.
Soriano and Tan rebounded in the afternoon from the loss suffered from the hands of Barbon and Eslapor with a 21-14, 21-12 conquest of USLS.
Efraim Dimaculangan and Rancel Vergara of UST overcame Simon Aguillon and Ralph Savellano of Bacolod, 21-12, 28-26, while Mikhail Shavrak and Mike Abria of Russia Wildcard, 21-8, 21-13, to become the lone undefeated men’s team in Group A.