MANILA, Philippines – Petron XCS dug deep into its well of experience as it clobbered Sta. Lucia Realty A, 21-8, 21-11, to clinch the title of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Sunday, May 27, at the Sands By the Bay in Mall of Asia.
Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons displayed their deadly form early on to frustrate Jackie Estoquia and DM Demontano en route to defending their crown.
Despite the lopside match, the Petron ladies said they struggled for most of the tournament and only banked on their will to win.
“We had a hard time because all the opponents were very competitive,” said Pons. “We just simply wanted to win. We wanted to beat all of our opponents and this is the result.”
A down the line attack by Rondina formally gave the Blaze Spikers their back-to-back beach volleyball title.
“We’re glad to survive another tough tourney,” said Rondina. “I want to say thank you to (Pons). At least our connection is still there.”
Earlier, Generika-Ayala A crushed F2 Logistics 21-7, 21-14, to clinch the bronze medal of this battle.
Also emerging victorious were Lemuel Arbasto and Kris Roy Guzman of Foton, who shocked erstwhile-undefeated Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of SM By the Bay, 21-15, 21-15, to bag the gold medal in the men’s division.
It was a sweet revenge for the nephew and uncle duo from University of Santo Tomas, which lost to Bagunas and Natividad of National University in the UAAP Season 80 men’s beach volleyball tournament.
“It’s a big deal for me and KR after they defeated us in the UAAP,” said Arbasto. “When we heard that they will be competing, we were motivated to meet them again in the finals and, this time, to win against them.”
“In our first meeting (during the preliminary round), they defeated us in straight sets, that’s why my uncle, KR, told me that we should adjust and target their weakness, which was long balls and smart hits at the back,” added Arbasto.
Philip Bagalay and Gregory Utupo of Smart, meanwhile, grabbed the bronze medal in men’s play following a 21-16, 22-20 win over Jessie Lopez and Mike Abria of Cignal in the tournament that had ESPN5 and Aksyon TV as broadcast partners and backed by PLDT, Sunsilk, Isuzu, Senoh, Mikasa, Maynilad, Petron, SM Malls, Generika Drugstore and UCPB Gen.
But all eyes were on the tandem of Rondina and Pons.
After blowing hot and cold in their first couple of matches, the prized pair showcased its fiery form as it turned a slim 6-5 advantage into a 20-8 lead in the first set.
The Lady Realtors tried to pump life into their campaign as they opened the second set trailing by a slim margin, 10-13, but they committed 3 consecutive errors while Rondina and Pons stepped on the gas to capture the championship point, 20-11. – Rappler.com
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