Catubag-Quilario tandem nails BVR semis slot

SANTA ANA, Cagayan – Davao's Lot Catubag and Karen Quilario posted back-to-back wins to advance to the semi-finals of the Beach Volleyball Republic International Santa Ana Open on Saturday, June 9.

Catubag and Quilario, the reigning BVR women's national champions, turned back the Hong Kong duo of Chan Mei Kit and Yip Wai Yan, 21-10, 21-13, and the Iloilo pair of DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia, 21-13, 21-19, to seize the Group B lead at 2-0.

Harbor Pilot-Cebu's Therese Ramas-Dij Gutierrez tandem and the Tuguegarao duo of Charo Soriano and Bea Tan also advanced to the next round. 

Ramas and Gutierrez made quick work of Far Eastern University's MJ Ebro and Ivana Agudo, 21-7, 21-11, and Singapore's Tin Lai Ng and Tan Shiang Theng, 21-15, 21-13, for a 2-0 record in Group A. 

Harbor shared the top spot with Tuguegarao's Soriano-Tan, who overcame a close first set to beat Ng and Theng, 22-20, 21-15, before returning with a  21-14, 21-16 conquest of Ebro and Agudo.

Iloilo's Demontaño-Estoquia tandem and Singapore Merlion's Kelly Yuen and Huang Zihui will dispute the last semi-final slot.

After losing to Demontaño and Estoquia, 12-21, 21-15, 7-15, Yuen and Huang kept their hopes alive by topping Chan and Yip, 21-16, 21-16. 

In the men's division, Czech Republic's Dominik Samen and Martin Samec also tallied two straight victories to grab the lead.

Samen and Samec first subdued Bacolod's Ralph Sevillano and Simon Aguillon, 21-18, 18-21, 15-6, before posting another 3-set win at the expense of Singapore's Kam Lung Chui and Itabashi, 21-15, 16-21, 15-7. 

BVR rivals Jade Becaldo and Calvin Sarte of Ato ni Bai and University of the Visayas' Kevin Juban and Raphy Abanto shone for the Philippines.

Becaldo and Sarte, the BVR men's titleholders, won over FEU's Jeremiah Barrica and Kevin Hadlocon, 27-25, 25-21, while Juban and Abanto downed Chui and Itabashi, 21-17, 21-12. 

A total prize of $19,000 is at stake in the event, where the women's and men's champions will claim the $3,500 top prize. –