Playing in a bubble environment is nothing new for Creamline beach volleyball ace Sisi Rondina.
“Familiarity na lang kasi nakalaro kami ng bubble, without audience,” said Rondina, who will be paired with her longtime partner Bernadeth Pons for Creamline 1 at the start of the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour first leg Friday, October 22, here.
“Focus pa rin, hindi nagbabago iyan. Kailangang ilabas kung ano iyong play namin. Yung mga plano namin, most specially yung goal namin,” she added.
(The familiarity will be there because we’ve already played in a bubble without an audience. We’ll focus, that won’t change. We need to show our game, execute our plans, target our goals.)
Prior to BVR, Rondina and Pons know what it takes to perform in a bubble setup as members of the Philippine team saw action in the AVC Continental Cup, a qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics last June in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
The BVR will be part of Rondina and Pons’ preparation, together with the other national team members, for the Asian Seniors Beach Volleyball Championship set on November 23 to 27 in Phuket, Thailand.
Rondina and Pons lead the 13 women’s pairs vying for the first leg championship which marks BVR’s return after a two-year hiatus.
The double-gender event, which also features 11 men’s squad, will start at 8 am.
The second and final leg will be played on October 28 to 31 at the same Santa Ana venue.
“This tournament is all about another learning experience. We are happy that BVR is back,” said Rondina, who won the tour’s last leg with Pons in Lianga, Surigao del Sur back in September 2019.
“Masaya kasi dahil sa tagal na rin, dalawang taon na din tayo. Nagpapasalamat kami sa BVR kasi binigyan ulit tayo ng opportunity na maipakita kung gaano tayo ka-passionate about sports, lalong lalo na sa beach volleyball. Kung gaano natin kamahal ang beach volleyball,” she added.
(We’re happy because it has been two years. We’re thankful that BVR gave us an opportunity to show how passionate we are of sports, and how much we love beach volleyball.)
A bronze medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and a three-time BVR champion, Rondina knows that being fan favorites with Pons will not result to another instant title.
“Naa-appreciate namin, pero hindi kami nagba-base doon kasi ako, fan din naman ako ng mga volleyball players. Basta kami, naa-appreciate namin lahat ng fans na nagbibigay sila ng inspiration. To give us good luck,” said Rondina.
(We appreciate the fans because we’re also fans of volleyball. They give us inspiration.)
“We are happy that they still remember us,” she added.
Other participants in the women’s division are Creamline 2’s Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez, PLDT’s Ella and Nieza Viray, TM’s Mer Jauculan and Hannah Cabansay, Biogenic Alcohol’s Roma Joy Doromal and Heather Guino-o, Toyota-Tuguegarao’s Nicole Tiamzon and Jho Maraguinot, and Eastern Perlas Spikers’ Michelle Morente and Jules Samonte.
Also competing are Black Mamba Army 1’s Nene Bautista and Jeannie Delos Reyes, Black Mamba Army 2’s Jem Gutierrez and Audrey Paran, Good Health CDO’s Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor, Sta. Lucia 1’s Jackie Estoquia and DM Demontaño, Sta. Lucia 2’s Bang Pineda and Glaudine Troncoso, and Delimondo’s MJ Ebro and Bianca Lizares.
Men’s action will pit Creamline 1’s Jaron Requinton and Ranran Abdilla, Creamline 2’s Jude Garcia and Krung Arbasto, Creamline 3’s Pemie Bagalay and Jeffer Guerrero, PLDT’s Rancel Varga and Efraem Dimaculangan, Tuguegarao’s AJ Pareja and James Pecaña, and EVI Construction’s KR Guzman and Jeremiah Barrica.
Rounding out the field are Army-FSD Makati 1’s Randy Fallorina and Jason Uy, Army-FSD Makati 2’s Joel Villonson and Joshua Barrica, DeliRush 1’s Evan Laraya and Julius Sioson, DeliRush 2’s Joven Camaganakan and Rhenze Hu, and Negros Occidental Beach Volleyball Club’s Deanne Neil de Pedro and Eljhay Ronquillo.
The BVR on Tour Santa Ana is sponsored by Puso Pilipinas, Smart Sports, Santa Ana LGU, Tuguegarao LGU, Board Member Aj Ponce, Congressman Junjun Nolasco, TikTok Phlippines, EVI Construction, Savepoint Plus, Xentro Mall, Toyota Tuguegarao, Ibuprofen Paracetamol Alaxan FR and supported by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation. – Rappler.com