Rondina-Pons off to strong start in beach volleyball World Tour
BORACAY, Philippines – The Philippines' Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons made quick work of Japan's Shinako Tanaka and Miyuki Matsumura, 21-14, 21-8, to barge into the Round of 12 Friday, May 24, in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open presented by Globe at the White House Beach Station 1 here.
A few days removed after completing her indoor volleyball stint for University of Santo Tomas, Rondina quickly adjusted in the sand court to help Pons score their first win in the main draw in front of a lustily cheering crowd that filled the venue.
"Actually two days lang yung training ko. But before entering the training, naka-mindset na ako na babalik ako sa outdoors," said Rondina, a four-time UAAP beach volleyball champion for UST.
(Actually, I had two days of training. But before entering the training, I already had a focused mindset that I’d be playing again outdoors.)
"Siguro, it's muscle memory and then I watched sa YouTube, yung mga previous games namin (ni Pons), kung paano kami gumalaw. Ayun, it's all about mindsetting," she added.
(Maybe it’s just muscle memory and then I watched on YouTube the previous games Pons and I played, how we moved. It’s all about mindsetting.)
Rondina faced the 43-year-old Tanaka for the second straight Beach World Tour. In the Manila Open last year, Rondina, together with her former partner Dzi Gervacio, were eliminated by Tanaka and Fujii Sakurako for a spot in the semifinals last year in the match that went into 3 sets.
"Last year, gustong-gusto kong manalo at that time," said Rondina. “Ngayon, blessed kasi nanalo kami for the first time. Siyempre, Japan iyun. Mahirap din kalaban ang Japan. Nakapag-adjust kami agad ni Pons and ayun, nanalo.”
(Last year, I really wanted to win. Now, we’re blessed that we won for the first time. That’s Japan, they’re hard to beat. Pons and I were able to adjust right away that’s why we won.)
After a feeling their way early in the match, Rondina and Pons were able to figure out the Japanese weaknesses.
"Hindi sila masyadong nababa-block kaya kailangan naman namin umatake. So iyun ang ginawa namin," said Pons, a former Far Eastern University standout.
(They don’t block that much that’s why we focused on attacking. That’s what we did.)
Up next for Rondina and Pons is another Japanese pair, Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba, at 7:50 am Saturday, needing another victory to make it to the quarterfinals outright.
The Philippines' Bea Tan and Dij Rodriguez narrowly lost to Singapore's Eliza Chong and Lau Ee Shan, 21-17, 13-21, 14-16, while the other Filipina pair, Jackie Estoquia and DM Demontaño, suffered an 18-21, 14-21 defeat to Australia's Brittany Kendall and Stefanie Weiler.
A day earlier, Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor bowed to Gerda Grudzinskaite and Karole Virbickaite of Lithuania, 17-21, 14-21, in the qualifiers.
In men's action, James Buytrago and Krung Arbasto bowed to Singapore's Fan Shen and Kingsley Tay, 12-21, 21-18, 5-15, Jessie Lopez and Ranran Abdilla fell to Norway's Ruben Lovli and Kjetil Tellnes, 21-19, 19-21, 8-15, while Jade Becaldo and Mike Abria lost a 15-21, 14-21 decision to Japan's Jumpei Ikeda and Katsuhiro Shiratori.
The women's pairs of Tan and Rodriguez, and Estoquia and DM Demontaño need to hurdle their matches against Tan Hsi Yan and Tasha Mae of Malaysia, and Ekaterina Filina and Ekaterina Zazhigina of Russia, respectively, starting at 8:40 am Saturday to remain in the competition.
For more updates, follow BVR's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and the Beach World Tour's official website at http://worldtour.2019.fivb.com. – Rappler.com